Utah expected to see 700 new fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in 2018

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UTAH -- Over the next year, drivers can expect to see about 700 new fast-charging stations for electric vehicles pop up all over Utah.

Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox said of Summit County's new stations Wednesday: "Setting the example here is critical for the future.”

Imagine paying the equivalent of $0.75 per gallon in gas, but it's electric. Cox and others said if that is not a good incentive to make the switch to driving electric vehicles, there are plenty of others—including drastically cleaning up air quality.

“We want to convert more and more people," Cox said. "We do need to get 50,000 electric cars here in the state of Utah so that we can continue to clean up our air quality."

Salt Lake City is going a step further, according to Mayor Jackie Biskupski, as they are now "considering waiving the fees for those who choose to charge at our stations.”

Wednesday also marks the start of a clean ride share program, funded for three years. Rocky Mountain Power, Summit County, and Salt Lake City are partners with Uber and Lyft to, in part, reduce charging costs, implement training, and encourage the use of more electric vehicles in ride sharing.

“Drivers along our clean air corridor will now be able to recharge their vehicles in just minutes while they’re waiting for their riders," President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power Cindy Crane said of the new charging stations in Salt Lake City and Kimball Junction, with plans for more along the way.

Officials expect an increase in ride sharing, particularly over the next couple of weeks as people flock to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. That said, they want to push people to ride electric during that time. Plus, they said they see it as an opportunity to inspire visitors to take the idea with them and implement it in their hometowns.

“Park City and Summit County are well known because of our skiing and because of the Sundance Film Festival," said Summit County Council Member Glenn Wright. "So people recognize what we’re doing here, and if we can set a good example for the rest of the state, the rest of the nation, the rest of the world: All the better.”