GJ city looks to accomodate electric cars

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It's easy to cringe whenever we see the gas prices rise. It's been happening, it seems, every day. Now, the city of Grand Junction is looking to find more efficient ways of doing things including driving. The city joined a new project that is promoting the use of electric cars.

It's called Project FEVER, or Fostering Electric Vehicle Expansion in the Rockies. The goal is to educate the public about the benefits of electric cars and look for ways to accommodate them as they become more popular and available throughout Colorado.

If you see her hanging around your car, you're likely getting a parking ticket.

"Normally when I'm down here, I'm not going that fast," officer Claire Stender said.

Kidding aside, the city's meter reading car gets the job done perfectly.

"I can get into an area where it would be difficult if I had a regular sized vehicle," Stender said.

Stender is currently driving the first and only electric vehicle in the city's fleet, but that soon could change.

"The new [electric] vehicles that are coming to market, we think there may be a lot more opportunities for us to add those to our fleet," Grand Junction City neighborhood services manager Kathy Portner said.

The city of Grand Junction has teamed up with Project FEVER anticipating electric cars will be more common on the roads in the future. The city says this project will develop a plan to increase electric vehicles while also educating the public about the benefits of these types of cars.

It seems the city isn't the only one looking at the future of electric cars. The SpringHill Suites downtown is hoping to add a electric shuttle in the next year. It even built an electric vehicle charging station in its lot.

"People around town, if they needed somewhere to plug in, that would give them the opportunity to," SpringHill Suites general manager Jason Bargar said. "As technology advances more and more and people can travel farther distances, we'll see more traffic with electric vehicles."

While there may not be many in town now, Cory Sullivan at High Noon Solar has been driving an electric Ford Ranger for a few years. His new Chevy Volt is even more advanced. It runs the first 40 miles on electric power. The gas in the car is not used to make it run, but instead charges the battery. Sullivan says his electric Volt is getting 305 miles per gallon of gas.

With his new car, Sullivan no longer has to cringe with the rising gas prices. In his opinion, he's already driving the car of the future, and the city is preparing for more like them on the streets.

With Project FEVER, the city will also be looking at adding public charging stations around town so users have the chance to plug in while they're out and about.

The Community Cinema in Fruita will be showing a movie on Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. called "Revenge of the Electric Car." It will discuss the electric car comeback.

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