When he founded the Sierra Club in 1892, the naturalist John Muir said its mission was “not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress.“ It’s a distinction we deeply believe in at ChargePoint and a sentiment I often share with our customers. One client I didn’t have to convince though is Chris Bowyer. That’s because Chris is the Director of Building Operations for The Alliance Center, a Denver-based nonprofit that provides LEED Platinum certified collaborative working spaces for more than 50 sustainability-focused organizations (including the Colorado chapter of the Sierra Club). Chris says reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is at the heart of the group’s activities. “We feel that EVs are going to be the future and we wanted to be on the leading edge of that effort,” he says. That foresight, along with a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), allowed The Alliance Center to install lower downtown’s (LoDo) first DC fast charger in 2017.
“We feel that EVs are going to be the future and we wanted to be on the leading edge of that effort.” – Chris Bowyer, Director of Building Operations, The Alliance Center
Why EV Charging?
Chris’s position at The Alliance Center is to ensure it lives up to its mission to provide a high-performance commercial space that promotes—and reflects—the sustainability objectives of its tenant-partners (who, in addition to the Sierra Club, include the headquarters of Conservation Colorado and Denver-based branches of Amnesty International and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among many others). The Alliance Center opted for a DC fast solution. “It was important for our standing as a beacon of sustainability here in Denver,” says Chris. “It made sense for us to do it.” The 50kW output charger allows users to charge their EVs at a rate of 200 miles of Range Per Hour (RPH).
To make sustainability accessible, inclusive and equitable to everyone, The Alliance Center had to make sure the unit was highly visible to those who might not otherwise know about the organization.“We wanted to make sure that we were providing a resource not only to our tenants, but also to the broader community,” says Chris. With the advanced ChargePoint app, drivers easily find it and even learn more about The Alliance Center’s mission while they charge. The technology also allows Chris to see when the station is in use, by whom and lets him diagnose any potential problems, all from the comfort of his office. Although, with ChargePoint Assure, issues are extremely rare. “Generally speaking, I haven't had any problems,” he says.
Colorado Foresees a Sustainable Future
During a kickoff event to introduce the ChargePoint solution in January 2018, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper promised to bring a network of fast-charging stations to the state. “I think [The Alliance Center] really does a great job of capturing Colorado’s vision,” he said at the time. In the year since, newly-elected Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently signed an executive order supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and a pair of new DC fast chargers has appeared in the LoDo neighborhood, with more on the way. John Muir once wrote, “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” The Alliance Center is tackling a big problem and making a bold statement—and it is inspiring others to do the same. With help from ChargePoint, they’re proving to Colorado, the nation and the rest of the world that progress doesn’t have to be blind. In fact, it can work for everyone. We think Muir would be proud. I know we sure are.
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