Public EV Charging Stations


Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) has provided programs to help its members use energy responsibly and save money for many years. Electric vehicles provide another way for members to reduce their impact on the environment. Consequently, promoting electric vehicle adoption is another way GCEA can fulfill its mission of serving members and our community.

Charging Paradigm

Charge while you sleep, eat, work or play.

Studies have concluded that most EV charging (80 to 85% on average) occurs at home. EV drivers do not typically stay with their car while it is fueling. They are normally doing something else like sleeping or working. Public charging stations are important, though, in order to provide a source of fuel on longer travel days when away from home or work. Public charging enables people to buy an electric vehicle. Charging at home provides additional sales of energy to GCEA and helps us maintain reasonable rates for all members.

Charge Ahead Colorado Grants

GCEA received grant funding for seven of its eight stations through the Colorado Energy Office. In total GCEA received $55,532. Hard costs: charging stations, materials, and contract labor totaled $57,503 for all eight stations. In-house labor has also been directed to the project. In-house labor and associated overheads allocated to the project total $41,870.

Program Details

GCEA offers Level 2, or destination, charging in order to create an EV-friendly community and to help make EV ownership possible for our members. Historically, GCEA has provided free charging for one to three years at each station. However, after 2020, free charging will be limited to special circumstances where the communication needed to collect fees does not exist.

How Much Do Drivers Currently Pay at GCEA’s Stations?

GCEA members who register with GCEA pay one-half the posted rate.

Crested Butte #1 (6th Street & Elk Avenue)

  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday): 25 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)
  • Off-peak: 8 cents per kWh

Lake City

The following fees will go into effect as soon as communication with the station is reestablished:

  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday) 25 cents per kWh
  • Off-peak: 8 cents per kWh

GCEA Headquarters

  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday): 25 cents per kWh
  • Business hours (8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday): Free
  • Other off-peak hours: 8 cents per kWh

Crested Butte #2 (1st Street & Elk Avenue)

  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday): $0.144 per kWh
  • Off-peak: Free


  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday): Free
  • Off-peak: Free


  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday): Free
  • Off-peak: Free

Elk Creek Marina

  • On-peak (5 pm to 10 pm Monday through Saturday): Free
  • Off-peak: Free


  • All times: Free

How Much Does the Free Charging Cost GCEA?

GCEA’s total annual cost of electricity provided free of charge at its stations is as follows:

  • 2015: $2.90
  • 2016: $62.90
  • 2017: $266.87
  • 2018: $691.75
  • 2019: $930.36

Please note that GCEA did not begin charging fees at Crested Butte #1 until January 1, 2019. We began charging at Crested Butte #2 on January 1, 2020, and will soon start charging fees in Lake City. Except for a few months at headquarters, all charging was free prior to 2019. We are transitioning all stations to pay-to-charge, so the cost of free electricity is expected to remain small.

How Do Drivers Find These Stations?

There are a number of resources including websites and mobile apps. These include PlugShare, ChargePoint, and ChargeHub. In addition to maps, these apps provide additional information about each station. Seven of GCEA’s stations are networked and drivers can see if a station is available remotely.


GCEA and the Town of Crested Butte established the first alternative fuel station in Gunnison County on November 30, 2015. By doing so, GCEA became the first rural electric cooperative in Colorado to own and operate a public EV charging station. With help from towns and businesses, GCEA has established eight charging stations in total. The City of Gunnison also installed a public EV charging station in September of 2016, which is served by the City’s Public Works Department.

  • November 2015: Crested Butte, 6th Street and Elk Avenue
  • August 2016: GCEA headquarters (upgraded October 2018)
  • October 2016: Lake City
  • November 2018: Elk Creek Marina
  • December 2018: Almont Resort
  • December 2018: Crested Butte, 1st Street and Elk Avenue
  • July 2019: Pitkin
  • November 2019: Sargents

Total Charging Sessions Completed

  • 2015: 9
  • 2016: 128
  • 2017: 311
  • 2018: 470
  • 2019: 933