November 3, 2020. New efforts announced Monday in conjunction with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s declaration of November as “Alternative Fuels Awareness Month,” aim to put Utah and other Western states on the map when it comes to easily accessible alternative fuel corridors in rural areas, especially national parks.
As a highlight, Utah Clean Cities said it is committing to advancing two Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies programs through cooperative agreements named EVZion Electric Shuttle and CORWest.
EVZion aims to develop and deploy a small-scale EV shuttle system through the east side of Zion National Park to increase connectivity across southern Utah.
“This piece with Kanab was exciting to get involved in and be able to pilot this project with the emerging EV shuttles,” said Tammie Bostick, executive director of Utah Clean Cities. Kanab and the parks are busier than they have ever been, she added, with nine out of every 10 vehicles coming from California just earlier this year.
“People are not going to be disappointed, they are going to be excited,” Bostick said, to get out of their cars and enjoy a “theater experience” to take in the wonders of Zion National Park with an EV shuttle.
She said that 6.8 million people used the park’s propane shuttle system over a year’s time, so to build on that will be advantageous.
The CORWest project seeks to connect eight western regional states — Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — by developing electric corridors in rural, gateway communities across the intermountain region that will make it possible to drive an electric vehicle across rural and scenic roadway corridors in the West.
CORWest will use this infrastructure to boost motorist accessibility and is the first effort of its kind in the country to join multiple states with a commitment to put these fueling stations every 50 miles.
“It is unique in the entire nation that we have all these states saying let’s make this happen, let’s work together, let’s combine this vision moving forward so we have range confidence.”
The Monday event also highlighted the success made so far in Utah: 1,594 stations across Utah that offer alternative fuels, including compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas, liquified natural gas, autogas and electric along the most heavily travelled corridors of I-15, I-80 and I-70.