The Montana Solar Powered Transportation Initiative engaged with three different communities in Montana – Bozeman, Missoula, and Whitefish. Each community is experiencing different levels of renewable energy and electric vehicle market development and is at a different stage in that development, which allowed the program to ask a holistic set of questions throughout the study period. Further, the differences between the communities provided unique opportunities, such as through pilot development and/or rate design. Each stage of development we identified is described below. To learn more about how communities worked through each stage, visit the Community Profiles.
Stage 1: What are our options for electric transportation?
Exemplified by Whitefish, Stage 1 communities are growing and starting to research information about deploying electric vehicles. Goals have been set regarding energy – or transportation – related emissions. Public or shared transportation options may be very limited or not available, and resources may be constrained.
Stage 2: What clean transportation technologies are right for our community?
Exemplified by Bozeman, Stage 2 communities are growing and have done initial analysis on electric vehicles but are trying to find out answers to specific questions through detailed and targeted analysis. These communities know what type of electric transportation they want to invest in and have set goals for reducing energy – or transportation – related emissions. Public transportation options are available, but resources are constrained.
Stage 3: How can our community most effectively deploy electric vehicles?
Exemplified by Missoula, Stage 3 communities have already invested in electric transportation and there is some existing charging infrastructure. Robust public transportation options are readily available and communities have set goals and established high priority on reducing energy – or transportation – related emissions.