Colorado plans to phase out gas-powered cars by 2050 by providing more financial incentives to residents to buy electric vehicles and promoting low-income alternatives like e-bikes.
A new report from the Colorado Department of Energy highlights how the state wants to achieve 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030 and ‘reach nearly 100% zero emission light-duty vehicles on the road by 2050.’
However, the Centennial State will not follow the lead of California and New York, which have fully banned gas guzzlers as of 2035 – instead choosing to focus on electrifying different medium- and heavy-duty vehicles while removing some hurdles to EV ownership.
‘The [Colorado] market has grown so much since our last plan. When we adopted the 2020 plan, our EV market share was around 3%. It’s now around 10%,’ Will Toor, the executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, told Earther.
Colorado plans to phase out gas-powered cars by 2050 by providing more financial incentives to residents to buy electric vehicles and promoting low-income alternatives like e-bikes. Above: a Chevrolet Bolt charges at an Electrify America site outside Colorado Mills outlet mall in downtown Lakewood, Colorado
The draft report of the 2023 EV Plan, which builds on the 2020 plan, also notes that the state will need a massive increase in charging stations. The 2023 plan sets an ambitious goal of 1,700 fast-charging stations and 5,800 level 2 charging stations in Colorado by 2025.
Currently there are only 720 fast-charging stations and about 3,700 slower EV charging stations, according to an online database.
Lack of infrastructure is a hurdle for EV adaptation in many places.
In New York City, there are only 677 stations across the five boroughs. The city is set to add 10,000 curbside chargers by 2030, but it may not be enough to power the thousands of electric cars that will be on the streets by 2030 – 68 percent of all new vehicles so0ld that year will be electric.
The plan also offers a different alternative to gas-powered cars that’s more affordable and meant for lower-income residents: e-bikes.
Officials want to consider a statewide e-bike tax credit program to the tune of $12 million (the funds were allocated in a previous law), which was partially inspired by a successful local e-bike program.
In April, Denver launched an e-bike rebate program that provides $400 toward purchasing one for all residents – and provides up to $1,200 for those at a lower-income threshold, plus an additional $500 for anyone buying a cargo e-bike.
By October, more than 4,100 Denver residents redeemed vouchers for e-bikes worth over $4 million, The Denverite reported.
The draft plan aims to have over 10,000 e-bikes on the streets by 2025.
Officials want to consider a statewide e-bike tax credit program to the tune of $12 million (funds were allocated in a previous law), which was partially inspired by a successful local e-bike program
In addition, the draft report plans for multiple other programs to nudge Coloradans in the direction of electrification.
Those include a program to help income-qualified residents retire and replace their older, higher-emitting vehicles and a residential charging infrastructure program to help them install EV charging at home.
Under the current federal EV tax credits, which range up to $7,500, final assembly of the cars must occur in North America. The draft plan further proposes the ‘extension of the light-duty ZEV tax credit through at least 2027.’ to give manufacturers time to catch up to federal requirements.
Colorado residents have until December 31 to submit comments on the draft plan and can do so here.
After that, officials will likely release a final version of the report by late January or early February.
The 2023 plan sets an ambitious goal of 1,700 fast-charging stations and 5,800 level 2 charging stations in Colorado by 2025. Above: A Kia Niro EV is charged at a charging station at Colorado Mills Outlet Mall Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Lakewood, Colorado
HYBRID VEHICLES EXPLAINED
A hybrid vehicle has two power sources – a petrol engine and an electric motor – combining to propel the cars forward.
By switching seamlessly between pure electric power at low speeds and efficient petrol power when speeds increase, these vehicles not only save fuel and money, but they also reduce CO2 emissions.
Hybrids can be self-charging which means that every moment you are driving, your battery is charging, by using technology such as a regenerative braking system, which recovers energy that would normally be lost and stores it in the battery for later use.
Self-charging hybrids do not need to be plugged in.
A plug-in hybrid gets all the benefits of being a hybrid but also has a charge point so you can extend the range of your car by plugging in at home or at one of the nation’s electric charge points.