Automakers and Colorado Officials Announce Agreement to Put More Electric Vehicles on Colorado Roads


Colorado consumers can expect to see more electrified vehicles on the roads sooner as the result of a collaborative effort between automakers and state officials over the past year. The auto industry and the Polis administration are pleased to announce that both parties are filing a joint alternative regulatory proposal to implement the California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation in Colorado. The filing will be considered by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) at their August 13-16 hearing.

California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Program requires manufacturers to produce and deliver for sale a certain number of zero emission vehicles. These cars include full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) powered solely by a battery, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that operate on battery power for 20 to 45 miles before a gas engine seamlessly takes over to power the vehicle another 300 to 600 miles, and hydrogen-fuel cell electric vehicles. Colorado is seeking to utilize authorities under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act, which allows other states to adopt California’s ZEV Program.

Automakers have invested substantially in diverse electrified models and want to sell them in high volumes. At the same time, Colorado has been investing in consumer sales and lease incentives, electric charging stations and government fleet purchases of electrified models, so the time was right for automakers and state officials to work together.

In response to these developments, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, which collectively represent 99 percent of light-duty vehicle sales in the United States, released the following statement:

“Automakers are building more electric models while Colorado is investing in market conditions that encourage consumers to buy them, so we have developed a way to work together on our shared goal of getting more electric vehicles on Colorado roads. We are extremely appreciative that the Polis administration worked with automakers and other stakeholders to find an innovative alternative regulatory proposal that will implement the ZEV program in Colorado. This regulator proposal addresses concerns with earlier proposals by providing the support Coloradans need to buy electric vehicles while allowing auto manufacturers to transition into Colorado’s ZEV program, which would cover vehicle model years 2023-2025, with the ability of automakers to earn early credits in the 2021-2022 model years.

“All of this was made possible by the fact that Colorado has one of the highest adoption rates of electric vehicles in the country as well as the largest electric vehicle incentives for consumers to buy or lease a ZEV. Colorado also has an expanding electric charging infrastructure, which will grow over the coming years based on legislation that was enacted earlier this year. Additionally, it is very helpful that the state has committed to developing a clean transportation plan to support the increased adoption and sale of ZEVs, including the state’s commitment to increase the number of ZEVs in its fleet of vehicles.”