Colorado moves to become 11th state to adopt zero-emissions vehicle standards

January 21, 2019

Colorado moved toward becoming the 11th state last week to require automakers to sell electric cars in the state to meet a specific quota tied to overall sales.

Colorado would be the second non-coastal state to adopt the policy, after Vermont. The 10 other states that mandate zero-emission vehicle regulations include California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Colorado mandate is the first action of Gov. Jared Polis, who issued the executive order Thursday in Denver. The requirement follows Colorado's adoption of California's emissions standards last fall under former Gov. John Hickenlooper.

DON'T MISS: Colorado adopts California vehicle emissions standards

The emissions standards wouldn't take effect until the 2022 model year for vehicles, but the state could implement its ZEV mandate by May. Polis told the state's Department of Public Health and Environment to propose its zero-emissions rule to the Colorado Air Quality Commission by May.

The ZEV mandate has led some automakers to build "compliance cars," models designed to meet California's zero-emissions regulations. Vehicles such as the Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, and others have been criticized as unpopular and non-profitable cars to meet government regulations. However, that's begun to change as more automakers introduce mass-market electric cars.

ALSO SEE: Colorado squares off against EPA, will adopt California's stringent vehicle emissions rules

Automakers will receive credits with the zero-emissions vehicle program based on the vehicle and its range, and they must maintain a certain number of credits to set to a percentage of the company's sales. The current standard will require automakers to offer electric cars to equal 8 to 9 percent of overall sales by 2025.

The policy already has its critics and cheerleaders.

The Colorado Auto Dealers Association slammed the ZEV mandate and said the government should not interfere with vehicle purchase decisions. Environmental groups applauded the move as a way to provide more electric cars to more drivers.

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