Denver Planning to Build Accessible EV Charging Stations
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Denver Planning to Build Accessible EV Charging Stations

Denver accessible EV charging
  • Denver is dedicated to the future of electrified mobility, accessible EV charging, and public transportation.
  • The city council changed building codes to require EV charging wiring in all new residential construction. 
  • Colorado will receive $57 million to build EV charging infrastructure. 

In Denver, Colorado, the city council is working hard to build inclusive EV charging stations that will be accessible for people with handicaps. Even people with vision impairments will be able to use the charging stations, as they will eventually use self-driving electric vehicles. This plan shows how Denver continues to innovate in its effort to reduce vehicle emissions. 

Changing Building Codes

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To achieve this goal, the city council has pushed to amend the building code for all EV stations. Rather than having some stations wide enough to accommodate space for specialized equipment, like ramps, all future EV spaces will be built with a minimum of 120 inches of width with 36-inch access aisles. All charging stations will be built at a height accessible for people in wheelchairs. 

The city council began talking about making all charging stations handicap accessible in 2021. In September 2022, Colorado was awarded substantial funding to build a network of EV charging stations. 

Denver is dedicated to the future of electric vehicles, especially since the majority of greenhouse gasses are from vehicle emissions. In 2016, the city updated building codes for new residential construction. The new codes requiring that new construction be wired to support EV charging went into effect on May 1, 2023. The same code also included the requirements for handicap-accessible EV chargers. 

Federal Money for EV Infrastructure

Over five years, Colorado will receive $57 million to build into the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI). When the funding was approved, Coloradoans had over 63,000 EVs, and the state expects drivers to have about 940,000 EVs by 2030. The federal funding is designated for EV projects in rural and disadvantaged communities. It is also earmarked to support cybersecurity concerns and workforce considerations. 

Under the plan, Colorado must use 40% of the funding to support people with disabilities and historically underserved communities. Kay Kelly of CDOT said, “Our goal is to ensure that the benefits of electric mobility accrue to all Coloradans, regardless of region, income, disability, or other factors.”

Slow EV Adoption From Robust Public Transportation

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Unfortunately, drivers in the Denver area haven’t adopted EVs as quickly as the city council believed they would. Charging infrastructure still needs work. As of May 2023, about 16,500 EVs were registered in Denver County, and more than 78,000 were registered in the state. 

Denver owns 60 public EV charging stations at 25 locations. The city is working to install charging stations at destinations like libraries and parks. In comparison, the city has 230 gas stations with an average of 12 nozzles in each station. The state has about 29,000 individual nozzles at 2,440 gas stations. 

The city is dedicated to reducing emissions. Denver’s light rail system opened in 1994 with one 5.3-mile line. Now the system has 113 miles with lines that reach the Denver Airport, Downtown Boulder, Golden, Littleton, and more. Daily, over 80,000 people used the light rail and commuter rail system in the first quarter of 2023. Denver also has several car-sharing programs from companies like ZipCar and Free2Move. 



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