The plan outlines the state’s strategy to promote electric vehicle adoption and other electric transportation options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
The Polis administration released its 2023 Electric Vehicle (EV) Plan on March 28, 2023 — the third iteration of the plan, which builds on the goals and actions the state has completed since the 2018 EV Plan and 2020 EV Plan. The 2023 EV Plan outlines the state’s strategy to meet its transportation electrification goals, including policies and programs related to light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles and other electric mobility options, such as electric bicycles (eBikes). The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) are the primary agencies responsible for implementing the EV plan.
“Driving in Colorado, clean, quiet electric vehicles are all around us, with so many quick and easy places to charge across the state. We are making sure Coloradans can save money and access electric vehicles of all types, and this data-driven plan is part of our work to fight for clean air, save people money, and protect our environment now and for generations to come,” said Gov. Polis.
Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Colorado, making vehicle electrification essential in meeting the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 from 2005 levels. The EV plan includes opportunities for historic investments in electric vehicle infrastructure and incentives to make electric transportation options more affordable for all Coloradans. It also outlines rules and policies to ensure Coloradans have access to the full variety of EV models at various price points.
“The state has made great progress on its electric transportation goals, and the 2023 EV Plan ensures that we keep up the momentum,” said CEO Executive Director Will Toor. “The Energy Office looks forward to working with other state agencies, utilities, and community stakeholders to make a clean transportation system a reality in Colorado.”
The state has set specific targets for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption. For the light-duty sector, the state plans to increase access to at-home charging, improve reliability of public charging, and expand EV purchase incentives to increase the number of light-duty EVs on the road in Colorado to 940,000 by 2030 and 2.1 million by 2035. In the medium- and heavy-duty (M/HD) vehicle sector, the state is investing in charging infrastructure, modifying registration taxes to remove barriers to ZEVs, and ensuring manufacturers offer M/HD ZEV models to increase adoption in this vehicle class to at least 30% of new sales by 2030 and 100% of new sales by 2050.
The state has also developed a strategy to help Coloradans replace short car trips, which make up 60% of all vehicle travel in the country, with other electric mobility options, such as scooters, eBikes, and shared options (e.g., bikeshare and electric carshare networks, vanpooling services). This strategy includes funding for community driven electric mobility and eBike projects, an income-qualified eBike rebate program, an eCargo Bike pilot program, and a proposed eBike purchase tax credit.
‘Leading by example’ is another key component of the EV plan. The state is doing so by increasing the number of EVs in agency fleets and updating and strengthening the EV related goals and directives in the most recent Greening Government Executive Order. The plan also presents opportunities to develop a workforce that is prepared to service EVs and to work with utilities to improve grid and charging infrastructure to support widespread EV adoption.
“CDOT has been working the last several years to help ready our state’s transportation system for an electric future,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We’re awarding grants to help build fast-charging stations across the state and to fund EV repair technician training. This plan moves us closer to our EV adoption goals and closer to the low emissions future we all want.”
As the state progresses towards its clean energy future, equity is a central focus of its work. The Polis administration recognizes that the communities most burdened by poor air quality and high fuel prices often have the least access to zero-emission vehicles. To ensure all Coloradans can share in the benefits of electric transportation, including improved air quality and savings on fuel and maintenance costs, the state is prioritizing investments in disproportionately impacted communities and creating income-qualified incentives to reduce the upfront cost of electric transportation options for low- and moderate-income Coloradans.
“Colorado’s ongoing transition to electric cars provides consumers with more choices while also helping to improve our air quality,” said CDPHE Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan. “We know that emissions from tailpipes are harmful to both our health and environment. The transition to zero emissions vehicles will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and provide safer and cleaner transportation options.”