Key air commission could accelerate vehicle electrification with action this Friday

Denver (May 7, 2019) —Clean car advocates in Colorado came together to urge the state to immediately take the next major step towards vehicle electrification when the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) is scheduled to begin consideration of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program this Friday.

At a briefing in Denver this morning, the national, non partisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) joined electric vehicle (EV) advocates from across the state to celebrate the recent slate of EV bills passed by the Colorado legislature last week and unveil a brand new video on the current state and future of Colorado’s EV industry. Clean vehicle industries in Colorado currently employ about 2,700 workers.

“State lawmakers declared last week Colorado will not just follow the clean energy economy, but help lead it,” said E2 Mountain West Advocate Susan Nedell. “These bills will speed our progress toward a clean transportation future, providing Coloradans greater access to EV models and charging stations while creating thousands of new jobs in every part of our state.”

The next step for Colorado’s transportation electrification could come as early as this Friday when the AQCC is expected to initiate a formal rulemaking process to consider a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program. Adopting the ZEV program would require auto manufacturers to develop and market vehicles that emit no tailpipe pollution starting in model-year 2023 and increasing in later years.

“On the heels of the legislative session victories, now is the time for Colorado to become a model for successful EV transition and stake its claim as a destination for the clean vehicle investments and jobs that come with it,” said Nedell. “Coloradans want more clean vehicle options. Adopting the ZEV program would provide consumers the choices they want and businesses the markets they need to grow.”

Advocates estimate that the ZEV program would require about 8 percent of new vehicle sales in Colorado to be electric by 2025. If the commission votes yes, technical experts and the public will be able to weigh in on the proposed rule over the summer. The AQCC would then likely take a final up-or-down vote in mid-August.

There are currently 43 electric vehicle models available in the U.S. and more are coming, including 21 electric SUV models over the next 2 years. Unfortunately, many Coloradans report being unable to purchase the EVs they want in-state because the vast majority of models are distributed to states with ZEV standards. If Colorado adopts the ZEV program, it would be the 11th state to do so and the first non-coastal state.

To learn more or to speak with experts in Colorado on clean energy policies, please contact Michael Timberlake at (202) 289-2407 or mtimberlake@e2.org

Additional Resources:

Background on the benefits of electric vehicles in Colorado:

Electric vehicles offer widespread benefits for all Coloradans, including cleaner air, less climate change, significant dollar savings and greater consumer choice:

  • In 2018, an electric vehicle running on electricity from Xcel produced 71 percent less smog-forming pollution, 99 percent less VOC pollution, and 34 percent less global warming pollution, compared to a new gasoline vehicle.
  • EVs will get cleaner as our electricity system continues to move away from polluting fuels. In terms of global warming pollution, an EV using electricity from Xcel in 2018 was comparable to a gasoline car that gets 52 miles-per-gallon (mpg). However, in 2026, that same EV will perform like a gasoline car that gets 105 mpg, because more than half of Xcel’s electricity in that year will come from clean, renewable sources.
  • Powering an electric vehicle is two-thirds less expensive than filling up at the gas pump. That means a typical rural driver could save more than $600 per year by switching from gas to electricity.
  • EVs cost much less to maintain as well. For example, New York City is currently saving more than $900 per year in maintenance costs for an electric Nissan Leaf compared to a gasoline-powered Ford Fusion in the city fleet.
  • Dollar savings will extend even to people who do not drive EVs, because transportation electrification can help our electricity system work more efficiently. Electric vehicles could cumulatively reduce our electric bills by more than $4 billion by mid-century.
  • Cumulative net-benefits from vehicle electrification in Colorado could exceed $40 billion by mid-century, according to analysis by MJ Bradley & Associates.

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E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.