South Fork gets electrified, joins Valley in adding electric car stations

Photo by Lyndsie Ferrell The Town of South Fork is now home to a electric vehicle charging station! From left to right, Town Manager Dan Hicks, South Fork Police Chief Hank Weber, South Fork Mayor Rodney Reed, Chamber of Commerce member L VanOsdol, South Fork Trustee Kevin Stickens, South Fork Financial Manager Mary Grace Garcia and Chamber of Commerce member Joe Ford.

SOUTH FORK — South Fork joined other communities throughout the Valley and installed a new electric vehicle charging station in the South Fork Visitor Center parking lot.

The Town of South Fork opted for a one-hour, level 2 charging station with the intent of allowing people to stop and enjoy South Fork while they wait for their vehicles to charge. People traveling through can stop and utilize this new station and while they wait, they can get a meal, browse local shops or even visit the visitor center to learn more about the area.

Electric charging stations are now located from Alamosa all the way up the Highway 160 corridor and into Creede through the Silver Thread Scenic Highway and into Lake City.

The South Fork charging station came to be through a grant project with the Colorado Energy Office’s (CEO) Recharge Colorado Program. The CEO offers two grant cycles throughout the fiscal year and another opportunity to participate in this grant will be available in October.

The Colorado Tourism Board is promoting vehicle charging stations throughout the state that have thrown many rural Colorado communities into the 21stcentury.

Before the last year, the San Luis Valley did not have any electric charging stations and people who wanted to travel to the area were reluctant because of the lack of charging options. Now, with the growing number of stations, it opens the door to a new group of people.

South Fork Financial Manager Mary Grace Garcia has been working with subcontractors for the last several months and during that time figured out that the amount being charged per hour is equivalent to $2.50 per gallon of gas which makes the cost of electricity less than what someone would pay for gasoline.

The longer dwell-time chargers allow people time to explore while waiting for their vehicles to charge or they can visit a quick-charge station in either Creede or Del Norte. In addition to the station in South Fork, there is another project happening at Wolf Creek where an entire bank of chargers is being installed. That project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

For anyone who may be interested in installing an electric charging station, including local businesses, hotels or other locations throughout the San Luis Valley, contact Laurie Dickson at [email protected]or call 970-259-1916 extension 110.