Electric transportation is gaining momentum around the world, as technology advances and cost reductions make it an increasingly viable way to move people or things – in a way that is ultimately cheaper, cleaner, and more sustainable than a continued reliance on fossil fuels. Case in point – driving an electric vehicle (EV) powered by Avista’s electric grid costs less than $1/gallon equivalent, results in zero tailpipe emissions, and an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions. Electric transportation is ultimately about a better energy future that provides major economic and environmental benefits to the customers and communities we serve. We are also working to better understand the implications of an electrified transportation sector in the years ahead.
We launched our pilot program in 2016 to install EV chargers at residential, commercial and public locations in eastern Washington. To date, we’ve installed EV chargers in 170 residential homes, and in 138 commercial locations for employee and fleet use, as well as six DC fast chargers. The program is intended to make it easy for customers to install EV chargers on their property, with greatly reduced costs as we own and maintain the equipment, as well as coordinates the install.
Engagement and partnership with local governments, and other leaders and organizations are key to raising awareness, supporting adoption and the realization of electric transportation benefits in our region. So far we have successfully partnered with over 50 local governments and business organizations to install EV charging, including the cities and towns of Liberty Lake, Colville, Garfield, Rosalia, Fairfield, Palouse, and Pullman. Although we do not yet have a program available in Idaho, we have also provided consultation to help the cities of Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene to install public EV charging. These partnerships have helped establish the early backbone of public EV charging infrastructure in the Inland Northwest, a key enabler of more widespread EV adoption.