Colorado Adopts California Zero Emission Vehicle Rule

Electric vehicles, like this Nissan LEAF e+, need to make up at least 5% of auto manufacturers' sales in Colorado under a rule approved today. Photo: Nissan USA.
Electric vehicles, like this Nissan LEAF e+, need to make up at least 5% of auto manufacturers' sales in Colorado under a rule approved today. Photo: Nissan USA.

Today Colorado approved a rule that requires automakers to sell more electric vehicles in the state. The mandate intends to bring a wider range of zero-emission electric models to car dealers, reduce carbon emissions and clean up polluted air.

“The adoption of the zero-emission vehicle standard is a clear demonstration of our unrelenting commitment to making sure every Coloradan has clean air to breathe,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in a statement.

The department oversees the Air Quality Control Commission, which approved the rule in an 8-1 decision this morning. Last week, the EPA downgraded much of the Front Range from a “moderate” to a “serious” violator of ozone pollution limits. Cleaning up increasingly polluted air is critical for the state to continue receiving federal transportation funds. In a March 29 statement Gov. Jared Polis said:

“Last year alone, there were 55 days when Coloradans were warned that exercising outdoors could be damaging to their health due to high ground-level ozone. That’s more than half the summer, which is unacceptable.”

The rule will also give Coloradans more choices when they shop for cars. Last year, Kelly Blue Book reported that only 12 models of electric vehicles were available for sale in Colorado, compared to 48 in California, according to reporting in the Colorado Sun.

Automakers supported the rule, which is similar to those in California and nine other states, because it offers a credit for vehicles sold before 2023, according to the Denver Post. In that year, the rule will start ratcheting up the number of zero emissions vehicles automakers are required to sell.


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