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Electric Vehicles and Alternate Fuels in Denver

Emissions from the transportation sector are the leading source of air pollution and the second leading source of greenhouse gases in Denver. This pollution from the tailpipes of our cars, trucks and buses contributes to ozone formation and is responsible for particulates that can travel deep into the lungs causing damage to the cardiovascular system. Fortunately, electric vehicles are now widely available in Denver, have zero tailpipe emissions and  produce fewer life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. As our electricity grid uses more renewable energy, the benefits of electric vehicles will only grow. Switching to electric vehicles helps keep our air clean and moves us closer to reaching Denver’s 2020 Sustainability Goals

Released in 2017. the Opportunities for Vehicle Electrification in the Denver Metro and Across Colorado report, and its Executive Summary, examines some of the major barriers to higher PEV adoption rates in Denver and identifies steps to address the barriers. 

Check out Denver's Pass Gas campaign to learn more about electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Resources

Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs) use electricity stored in a battery to power an electric motor. The result is instant acceleration, zero tailpipe emissions, and lower fuel and maintenance costs. The City is working to expand access and awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles in the community.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock has committed to deploying 200 electric vehicles in the City’s fleet by 2020, which is expected to save $800,000 through lower fuel and maintenance costs, and avoid 2,300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.   

Even though 80 percent of vehicle charging occurs at home, the City recognizes that drivers could benefit from plugging in away from home to increase their electric range.

Denver has over 300 charging ports at more than 90 locations, some of which are owned by the City for public use at places like the Denver Center for Performing Arts and Denver International Airport. Other locations include places like hotels, universities, restaurants, public buildings, and parking garages. Check out Plugshare to find the one nearest you.  

The most popular and useful place for charging outside the home is at work. Many employers provide charging to their employees as a workplace benefit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an employee with workplace charging is six times more likely to drive an electric vehicle than the average worker.

Denver offers charging to employees at the Wellington Webb Municipal building downtown, and the Regional Air Quality Council and Colorado Energy Office provide grant funding to assist employers with installing charging for their employees.

From late 2015 through June 2016, Denver participated in the Smart City Challenge grant competition offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation and was selected as one of seven finalists from the 78 cities that applied.

A significant portion of Denver’s proposal included transportation electrification, and with a plan in hand to dream big, Denver is pursuing the multi-faceted projects we developed with our partners. Read the final plan here, and visit to learn what Denver is doing to leverage the benefits of smart technology. 

Alternative Fuels Resources

The City is a proud member of the Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Clean Cities’ mission is to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector and provides local guidance, programs, and education about alternative fuels throughout the country.

On Earth Day in 1993, Denver became the first City in the country to pass a ‘Green Fleets’ executive order, which committed to reducing city fleet emissions by one percent annually and directed the City’s deployment of alternative fuels. By 2001, Denver had purchased 39 Toyota Priuses, a new hybrid technology at the time, making it the world’s largest municipal hybrid fleet. Denver has been ranked in the top 10 of the 100 Greenest Fleets in North America by Government Green Fleet since 2008. Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s Executive Order 123 continues to direct the City fleet to advance alternative fuels today with a strong focus now on electric vehicles.

Alternative Fuel Data CenterThe U.S. Department of Energy’s home for alternative fuels, including relevant state and federal policies, technical details, research, case studies, and data

Refuel Colorado Colorado’s local resource for alternative fuel information, including a tax credit calculator

Charge Ahead Colorado Curious about electric vehicles? Head here for info about electric vehicles in Colorado

Clean Air Fleets The central place for finding Colorado’s alternative fuel vehicle grant opportunities

AFDC station locator - Do you know where the nearest alternative fuel station is? Use the Alternative Fueling Station Locator below – you could be right next to one and not know it! 

Released in 2017. the Opportunities for Vehicle Electrification in the Denver Metro and Across Colorado report, and its Executive Summary, examines some of the major barriers to higher PEV adoption rates in Denver and identifies steps to address the barriers.