Want to be greener? Learn more about sustainability in the Yampa Valley:

Sustainable Transportation

What can you do in northwest Colorado to support sustainable transportation?

  1. CHECK out the new Yampa Valley Ride Share page on Facebook sponsored by the nonprofit Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. Use this free resource to arrange carpooling within the Yampa Valley.
  2. ASK local auto dealers to carry hybrids and the most fuel efficient vehicles available. Tell sales managers you’d like to test drive and hopefully buy locally.
  3. CONSIDER purchasing a plug-in electric hybrid or an electric car. State and federal tax credits are helping to make buying an electric vehicle (EV) a smart choice. Alongside a federal tax credit of $7,500, Colorado residents are able to claim an additional state credit of up to $6,000 when they buy an EV. For federal tax information see www.irs.gov/Businesses/Qualified-Vehicles-Acquired-after-12-31-2009. For state tax information see  http://northerncocleancities.org/resourcesfunding.html or www.driveelectricnoco.org/tax-credits
  4. SIGN UP for a free fleet assessment and coaching available to any business or municipal fleet in Colorado. www.refuelcolorado.com/refuel-colorado-fleets
  5. FIND OUT about discounts for governmental entities for alternative fuel vehicles and stations through the Colorado Alternative Fuels Funding program. The program covers the added cost for alternative fuel vehicles compared to gas vehicles when replacing fleet vehicles. Visit http://dola.colorado.gov/afp or contact DOLA regional manager Greg Winkler at greg.winkler@state.co.us or 970-668-6160.
  6. FIND or share a ride to/from Denver for a flight at DIA or an event in the Front Range on Facebook pages “Steamboat Denver Ride Share” or “Steamboat Springs Ride Share.”
  7. AVOID any unnecessary idling longer than 30 seconds when you drive. Learn more and view a 6-minute video at www.yvsc.org/programs/spare-the-air. Encourage friends, business colleagues, machinery operators and shuttle drivers to turn off idling engines after 30 seconds, and limit any winter warm up time to less than 5 minutes.
  8. SHOP at local businesses that support alternative fuels, such as the Space Station in downtown Steamboat that offers biodiesel. Ask local gas stations owners if they would consider offering ethanol blends such as E30 or E50, and buy E85 for your flex-fuel vehicle when you travel. Millions of vehicles in the U.S. are labeled flex-fuel, and millions more could be converted to run on multiple fuels with minimal changes.
  9. RIDE the free hybrid buses at Steamboat Springs Transit. SST has eight diesel/electric hybrid buses, with one on order, and uses a 5 percent biodiesel fuel blend 10 months out of the year.
  10. SELECT the most fuel-efficient vehicle you possibly can, and avoid driving alone or unnecessarily if possible. Think about life cycle costs when researching a new vehicle. Learn more:  www.FuelEconomy.gov
  11. WATCH the documentary film “Pump,” available in the library’s collection.
  12. GET INVOLVED in regional, collaborative efforts to bring a compressed natural gas fueling station to northwest Colorado and learn about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles.
  13. REMEMBER that all major car manufacturers now offer successful and popular fuel-saving mild hybrids, full hybrids, plug-in electric hybrids or full electric vehicles. Learn more at http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.shtml.

Contact:  Maria Eisemann with Northern Colorado Clean Cities (www.NorthernCoCleanCities.org) at marianococc@gmail.com or 970-988-2996; or Matt Shmigelsky with Refuel Colorado (www.RefuelColorado.com) at Matt@CleanEnergyEconomy.net.

2017 Most efficient cars by EPA size class (according to www.fueleconomy.gov)

The top 10 electric cars, listed by range (sold in the U.S. as of March 2014):
Tesla Model S — $81,070, 265 mile range
Toyota Rav4 EV — $49,800, 103 mile range
Kia Soul EV — $40,000, 80-100 mile range
VW e-Golf — $35,000, 70-90 mile range
Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive — $42,000, 87 mile range
Fiat 500e — $31,800, 87 mile range
Nissan Leaf — $28,980, 84 mile range
Chevy Spark EV — $26,820 plus destination charge, 82 miles (can purchase on West Coast)
Honda Fit EV – only made through 2014, $36,625, 82 mile range
BMW i3 — $41,350m, 81 mile range

Additional top EV sellers:
Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Volt

FAQ – What’s the difference between a full, mild and plug-in hybrid?

(More information available at:  www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_basics_hev.html)

Mild hybrids — The electric motor is used intermittently while the vehicle is running to give assistance to the gasoline engine and provide regenerative braking. The electric motor of a mild hybrid cannot be used to propel the vehicle on its own. A mild hybrid can improve fuel efficiency between 10 and 15 percent compared to conventional gas-powered vehicles.

Full hybrids – The electric motor is in use the entire time the car is running and can be used to propel the vehicle on its own for short distances. These systems are the most popular of HEVs. They cost more than mild hybrids but provide better fuel economy benefits.

Plug-in hybrids – Drive like an electric car if the battery is sufficiently charged. After the electric-only range has been exhausted, PHEVs operate like a regular full hybrid. By having a significant electric-only range, plug-in hybrids garner some impressive fuel economy figures.


View our May 2015 Green Car Show post and gallery here