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Utah Business Leaders Announce Coalition to Build Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Andrea Smardon
Packsize International CEO Hanko Kiessner installed 16 charging stations at his company's two Utah locations.

A group of Utah business leaders want to reduce pollution by encouraging more people to drive electric cars to work. They announced a new initiative at the state capitol Tuesday to help make that happen.

Talley Goodson is the CEO of 3-Form, and he says air pollution is an obstacle to recruitment.

“People are concerned about the long-term health implications of poor air quality here in our valley, and we together as a business community need to do more,” Goodson says.

To that end, 13 Utah business leaders announced the formation of the nonprofit organization Leaders for Clean Air™. They’ve installed electric vehicle charging stations at their workplaces, and now they want to encourage other businesses to do it too.

The concept started with Packsize International CEO Hanko Kiessner, who has installed 16 charging stations for his employees. He claims that 15 percent of his company’s commuter miles are now tailpipe emission-free, and employees save about $1,000 annually in fuel and service costs.

“Zero emission vehicles are here today, but we are missing the infrastructure to help our employees recharge their zero-emissions cars at work,” Kiessner says.

Businesses who want to join the coalition will receive a free charging station, and will be asked to make an investment of $550 to help pay for the next business that joins. The goal is to establish 2,000 new EVC stations by 2016.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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