The City of Boulder, in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), Colorado CarShare, Xcel Energy and Fermata Energy, is proud to announce an innovative program aimed at reducing building energy costs while providing affordable, sustainable transportation options for community members.

This groundbreaking initiative featuring two Colorado CarShare electric vehicles paired with bi-directional charging stations underscores the city's commitment to promoting equitable access to low-emissions transportation. Traditionally, electric vehicle (EV) chargers function solely to draw energy from the grid or a building to charge a vehicle. However, in this groundbreaking initiative, the integration of bidirectional EV charging stations introduces two-way electricity flow, enabling energy exchange between a building and a car. Known as Vehicle-to-Everything technology, including Vehicle-to-Grid and Vehicle-to-Building, this pioneering approach holds immense potential to mitigate building peak demand, ultimately driving down energy costs and enhancing grid stability.

"We are excited to build on the success of our bi-directional EV charging pilot at North Boulder Recreation Center. This project allows the partners to expand access to electric mobility while exploring new potential business models with bi-directional charging” said Matt Lehrman, senior policy advisor for energy systems for the City of Boulder. The program entails discounts for carshare memberships funded by the city and rebates provided by Xcel Energy to Colorado CarShare for the procurement of EVs, as well as funding for the acquisition and installation of the bi-directional chargers.

“This program helps deliver the benefits of electric vehicles to all customers in the communities we serve, including those who don’t drive, or drive electric. This project isb a proof of concept of bi-directional charging, to assess technology with the potential to enhance customer bill savings,” said Huma Seth, Director of Clean Transportation at Xcel Energy. “We know EVs can help customers save money on their transportation costs and they deliver cleaner air for everyone because they are powered with increasingly clean electricity.”

“We’ve reached a paradigm shift in energy management. Electric vehicles are poised to revolutionize their function, evolving beyond mere transportation to bolster grid resilience and sustainability. Our ongoing collaboration with the City of Boulder exemplifies this transformation. Building on our initial successful project at the North Boulder Recreation Center, this new initiative marks a significant step towards equitable access to electric vehicles as we strive toward a global renewable energy ecosystem. Together, we are setting a precedent for municipalities to integrate EVs into their energy strategies, enhancing community resilience and paving the way for a sustainable future,” remarked Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy.

Operated by the not-for-profit organization Colorado CarShare, shared Nissan Leaf EVs will be made available for the program, including subsidized use for those residing in affordable housing. "Colorado CarShare is suitable for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint, commute using public transit, walking, bicycling, or other alternative modes; or who want to reduce their monthly transportation costs," expressed Executive Director Peter Krahenbuhl. "Our ultimate goal is to tackle climate challenges and maximize positive impacts for our residents and society."

The City of Boulder, along with its partners, is excited to spearhead this pioneering effort, expanding access to electric mobility and testing new ways to better integrate electric vehicles into the city’s climate, resilience and transportation goals.

Learn more about the city’s sustainability work and Climate Initiatives Department.