EV Rally of the Rockies Shows off Electric Car Muscle

Eight electric vehicles will take a fall colors road rally on Friday, Oct. 3, leaving from Aspen, Vail, Grand Junction and Snowmass Village, traveling through communities equipped with vehicle charging stations, and ending with a party in Carbondale.

“The EV Rally of the Rockies will show that electric car travel and tourism is now possible in western Colorado, and a lot of fun,” said Matt Shmigelsky, an energy coach with CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region and organizer of the rally.

Four launch events, plus a midpoint ribbon-cutting in Basalt, will celebrate the growing network of public electric vehicle charging stations. Everyone is invited to come by to see the rally vehicles, meet the drivers and learn more about electric cars.

The Grand Junction leg will start with a launch event set for 11:30 a.m. to noon at Fuoco Motor Co., 741 N. First St., with driver David Miller of Alpine Bank departing at noon.

At the Parachute I-70 Rest Area, where the town’s solar flowers power an electric vehicle charge station, Miller will join up with drivers Craig Farnum in a Nissan Leaf and Shmigelsky in a second Chevy Volt. They will launch from Parachute at 2 p.m., stop in Glenwood Springs to charge up from 3 to 4 p.m., and then continue on to Carbondale.

The Vail leg will start with a launch event from 1:30 to 2 p.m. at the Vail Village Children’s Fountain on Gore Creek Drive. Drivers Adrian Fielder and Mike Ogburn will depart at 2 p.m. They, too, will stop in Glenwood Springs from 3 to 4 p.m. to charge up before continuing on to Carbondale.

And the Aspen leg will start at 2 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting event for the city’s new electric vehicle charging station in the Rio Grande Parking Garage. Drivers Laurie Guevara-Stone and Amy Westervelt will depart at 2:45 p.m.

They’ll stop to charge at the new charging station on the Midland Spur in Basalt, where the town will host a ribbon-cutting event for its new charging station at 3:30 p.m.

The town of Snowmass Village will hold a ribbon-cutting event at 3:30 p.m. for its new charging station at Town Park Station on Brush Creek Road (aka the Rodeo Lot). Dr. Mike Check, a physician in Snowmass Village, will depart in his Nissan Leaf at 3:45 p.m. for Carbondale.

Finish line festivities will be from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Colorado Mountain College Lappala Center parking lot, 690 Colorado Ave. in downtown Carbondale, with electric vehicles on display, drivers available for conversations, information and refreshments.

Students from Colorado Mountain College’s Isaacson School for New Media will ride along on each of the rally legs, sending out tweets and filming the rally for a documentary video. To follow the rally, look for the hashtag #EVRallyCO.

The EV Rally isn’t a race, said Allyn Harvey, chairman of Garfield Clean Energy, which is co-hosting the rally.

“It’s a pleasant tour to enjoy the fall colors,” Harvey said, “and to demonstrate that electric-powered passenger cars can cover long distances on western Colorado’s scenic highways, thanks to the growing network of free public electric vehicle charging stations.”

The EV Rally of the Rockies is hosted by Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER, CORE, City of Aspen, City of Grand Junction, Town of Vail, Town of Snowmass Village, Town of Basalt and Colorado Mountain College. Sponsors for the event are Fuoco Motor Co. of Grand Junction, Mountain Chevrolet of Glenwood Springs and Alpine Bank.

For complete info, visit www.GarfieldCleanEnergy.org .