On December 6, 2021, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced four new grants for the Fast Charge Your Ride program. The grants, funded through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust will include matching private investments, with a focus on connecting key travel corridors and tourist hotspots like Yellowstone National Park.
“Proximity and availability of electric vehicle charging stations is a critical connection for visitors to small communities and for the support of restaurants and small businesses in key Montana tourism corridors,” said Scott Osterman, Director, Montana Department of Commerce. “This network of charging stations opens up the opportunity for more exploration of the state, supporting local economies. We are excited to see the expansion of this infrastructure in Montana.”
This round of grants was awarded with a focus on serving businesses where travelers already commonly stop, as well as rural communities serving tourist destinations. Combined with previous rounds of Fast Charge Your Ride, and private sector investments, this will bring the total number of fast-charge stations around the state to 21. A recent partnership between NorthWestern Energy and Town Pump was also recently announced, and will install nine new charging stations on key corridors throughout the state. These are expected to come online by the Fall of 2023.