Innovative pilot program integrates electric vehicles and affordable housing in Boulder

The City of Boulder, in partnership with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), Colorado CarShare, Xcel Energy, and Fermata Energy, has introduced an innovative program aimed at reducing building energy costs and providing sustainable transportation options for community members. This initiative features two Colorado CarShare electric vehicles paired with bi-directional charging stations, highlighting the city’s commitment to promoting equitable access to low-emissions transportation.

Traditionally, electric vehicle (EV) chargers draw energy from the grid to charge a vehicle, but this groundbreaking initiative introduces bidirectional EV charging stations that enable two-way electricity flow between a building and a car. Known as Vehicle-to-Everything technology, this approach has the potential to mitigate building peak demand, lower energy costs, and improve grid stability.

Matt Lehrman, senior policy advisor for energy systems for the City of Boulder, expressed excitement about expanding access to electric mobility through this project. Discounts for carshare memberships, funding for EV procurement, and rebates for bi-directional chargers are part of the program.

Huma Seth, Director of Clean Transportation at Xcel Energy, highlighted the benefits of the program in delivering cleaner air and enhancing customer bill savings. Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy, emphasized the significance of integrating EVs into energy strategies for a sustainable future.

Operated by Colorado CarShare, shared Nissan Leaf EVs will be available for the program, including subsidized use for affordable housing residents. The program aims to reduce carbon footprints, transportation costs, and maximize positive impacts for residents and society.

The City of Boulder and its partners are leading this pioneering effort to expand access to electric mobility and integrate electric vehicles into the city’s climate, resilience, and transportation goals. This initiative marks a significant step towards a sustainable future and sets a precedent for municipalities to follow suit.