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Groups unveil 'Mighty Five' electric vehicle corridor initiative

SALT LAKE CITY — The Tuesday launch of the Mighty Five Electric Vehicle Corridor initiative means some of the state's most scenic landscapes are now more accessible to electric vehicle owners.

Maverik locations in Fillmore in central Utah and Washington in southern Utah are each equipped with a DC fast charger and a level 2 EV charger for motorists.

"These will change how we move around the state and our region," said Laura Nelson, director of the Office of Energy Development and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's energy adviser.

The installations were funded with a grant from the Utah Clean Air Partnership that was matched by Maverik and the Office of Energy Development. The charging stations will provide 300 miles of road travel and augment electric vehicle charging stations already situated within Zion National Park.

"The air we breathe is as priceless a commodity as there is," said Andrew Gruber, director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council and a member of the Utah Clean Air Partnership board.

"This is an example of tremendous action in the here and now that will affect our clean air," he said.

Aaron Simpson, Maverik's chief marketing officer, said the charging stations at the two locations, with Fillmore being one of its busiest stores, marks the beginning of the company's embrace of the technology.

Maverik is a Utah-based company with 300 stores in 10 states.

"We are going to continue to expand this footprint," he said. "Customers' driving needs are going to continue to evolve."

Utah is outpacing many of its Western neighbors for its pursuit and development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, said Richard Bell, alternative transportation specialist with the Governor's Office of Energy Development.

The state has the nation's fastest-growing electric vehicle adoption rate, he added, with it being sixth per capita in the number of electric vehicles.

The Mighty Five initiative complements the WestSmart EV Project by Rocky Mountain Power that aims to develop 1,500 miles of electric vehicle corridors along I-15, I-70 and I-80 to support travel from Yellowstone National Park to Disneyland.

The U.S. Department of Energy is helping to fund that effort, which will be fully implemented in three years.

Maverik is the first convenience store in the state to offer electric vehicle charging stations.