Colorado has voted to approve a new standard on the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), with an additional goal set for 2032 and new guidance for increasing EV sales beginning in 2027.
The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted the Colorado Clean Cars standard on Friday, directing manufacturers to make 82 percent of all light-duty vehicles sold electric by 2032, as detailed in a press release. The state will also direct manufacturers to increase zero-emission light-duty vehicle sales starting in 2027, with goals increasing each year during the five-year period.
In the release, Colorado clarifies that it includes battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric as what it refers to as zero-emission options. The state has also said that it’s aiming to get one million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2030, along with its plan to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution entirely by 2050.
“Colorado is already among the states with the highest concentration of electric vehicles, and we don’t plan on hitting the brakes any time soon,” Commission Director Michael Ogletree said.
“Coloradans want low- and zero-emissions vehicles because they help them get where they’re going while breathing cleaner air and saving money. This standard will make clean vehicles more accessible across the state and improve air quality in local communities overburdened by pollution from busy roadways.”
Notably, the release says that the standard does not prohibit the sale or use of non-electric vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs). They also do not apply to used vehicles or those used for things like construction or agriculture.
Instead of prohibiting gas car sales, the state says it hopes to direct consumers toward some of its grants and other programs making EVs easier to access. It lists the following state programs:
- Electric Vehicle Tax Credits, which give Colorado taxpayers up to $5,000 in tax credits for leasing or purchasing a new electric car with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $80,000 or less, and up to $7,500 starting in calendar year 2024 for new electric cars with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $35,000 or less.
- The Vehicle Exchange Colorado Program, which offers rebates to income-qualified Coloradans for recycling and replacing their old or high-emitting vehicles with electric vehicles.
- The Community Accelerated Mobility Program, which provides grants to support community-led electric mobility projects.
The state passed a bill earlier this year that requires a 50-percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The standard also creates further standards for emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides from traditional passenger vehicles, which the state says creates harmful ozone pollution at the ground level.
While the Colorado standard falls short of requiring 100 percent of new car sales to be electric by 2035, as adopted in California, Maryland and a number of other U.S. states, it does represent the latest development in the state’s efforts to boost low- and zero-emission vehicle sales.
Earlier this year, Colorado voted to approve new EV tax incentives on EVs that offer up to $5,000 off on select purchases, which can be used alongside the federal tax credit. In 2019, Colorado also joined nine other states in adopting standards to accelerate the rollout of EVs in their regions.