HELENA — The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is bringing new electric vehicle charging stations to the state.
Through a Volkswagen Settlement fund, the state will be able to expand electric vehicle or EV travel. The “Fast Charge Your Ride” grants were given to four major players including GBP Enterprises, Missoula Electric Cooperative, Northwestern Energy, and Town Pump.
The funds for the project come from a large settlement entitled the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement, in which Montana received $12.6 million. Volkswagen was forced to dole out billions in reparations after getting caught using systems that gave the impression the cars were giving out better emissions than they were.
The DEQ's Neal Ullman says that the expansion of infrastructure will allow visitors and Montanans alike with electric vehicles better access to tourism thus supporting and bolstering economies throughout the state.
“It just makes sense that if we want to encourage out-of-state tourists to come visit our communities, put money into our local economies, that they have the access to get here in their electric vehicles so that they can charge up and help out Montana's economy.”
The stations will be fast charging meaning that they can fully charge a vehicle within 15-to-60 minutes depending on the type of vehicle and capacity of the charger. Each fast-charging station will also be paired with a Level 2 charging station, which essentially uses less power, charges at a lower speed, and allows for more types of electric vehicles to charge at the station.
The 14 new electric charging stations will be up and running within 24 months and will surely change the way in which Montanan’s explore this great state.