What’s At Stake
Colorado is already a national leader when it comes to progressive environmental standards. We’ve been successful because we’ve set realistic goals. But if our policymakers decide to adopt California ZEV, there will be a lot of work ahead, as the electric vehicle mandate requires that by 2025 ZEV sales account for up to 10% of all vehicles sold in the state. Although new motor vehicles are becoming increasingly efficient, currently, less than 2% of new vehicles sold in the state fit the ZEV designation.
If our policymakers move ahead with adopting the ZEV mandate, they must follow California’s lead and prioritize funding for incentives and building the necessary infrastructure for ZEVs while also leading by example and purchasing ZEVs in mass for state and local government fleets.
Indeed, California has spent the past 10 years investing about $2.5 billion to support and encourage the purchase of ZEVs. Is Colorado prepared to make the same investment? Here is what Colorado would have to do to make ZEV a success:
What’s In Play
Coloradans want to build on the state’s incredible environmental record, but we want to do it the Colorado way. That is why we are concerned that the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) may soon adopt California’s low emission vehicle standards, often referred to as the LEV standards. These requirements would have virtually no impact on air quality above and beyond federal standards that are in place now.
In addition, later this year, Colorado policymakers are expected to consider implementation of a second California program – the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which would require the sale of a certain percentage of battery electric, plug-in and fuel cell vehicles. To be successful, such a program will require our state to dedicate millions of dollars to build and support electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations across the state. The state will also need to focus on providing consumer incentives.
Are our policymakers willing to make that commitment year after year? Because if they are not, there is no reason to spend any time contemplating such a program.