Colorado Unveils Assertive Plan to Streamline EV Adoption
In 2017, Colorado had 13,000 EVs on the road. The state intends to increase this number, as high as one million vehicular units by 2030. To meet such goals, officials published a thorough report, which outlines the requirements of the nascent sector.
The state intends to address the critical aspects of EV adoption, including EV infrastructure, incentive programs, EV variety at car dealerships and more.
Financial and Environmental Incentives
Colorado's grand plan to push for the adoption of EVs comes with numerous financial incentives. By aggressively growing the local EV market, the state could gain between $7.6 billion and $43 billion in cumulative net benefits.
Moreover, from an environmental perspective, the phase out of gas-powered vehicles could significantly improve air quality in the state. A report that provides details about Colorado's plan suggests 800 tons of nitrogen oxide, 800 tons of volatile organic compounds and three million tons of harmful gases can be reduced per year, at the peak of EV adoption in the state.
"If you want to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, you want to create a statewide network that allows the owner of an EV to go anywhere in the state," explained Christian Williss, director of the Transportation Fuels & Technology department at the Colorado Energy Office.
Local dealerships will also play an important role in winning over skeptical customers considering the purchase of their first EV. To woo individuals at car lots, the Colorado Energy Office is working with car dealerships to improve their selection of electrified units. The state wants to meet California's wide variety of EVs, which ranges between 25 and 30 different models.
Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Settlement
A crucial part of the state's plan to boost EV adoption and awareness in the area is compliance with Governor John Hickenlooper's request, in the form of an executive order issued last year. The request entails the need for more EV charging stations, in order to provide charging services for over one million electrified cars.
At the moment, state officials believe the lack of EV hubs is a huge barrier for EV owners.
Interestingly, Colorado plans to setup a handful of programs to ensure its EV infrastructure-related projects are properly funded. A grant program will be provided for businesses and establishments in the private sector, to build the required EV charging stations.
The state also plans to leverage its share of the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Settlement (roughly $10.4 million or 15 percent of the $68.7 million share) to fund the construction of new EV chargers. The funds stemmed from an environmental mitigation trust that was arranged by Volkswagen Group, after its crippling diesel emissions scandal. An agreement in the settlement includes a $2 billion investment in EV infrastructure and educational programs.
"Grant programs, including Charge Ahead Colorado and ALT Fuels Colorado, are part of the plan, and the state will use 15 percent of the $68.7 million it receives from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Settlement for light-duty electric-vehicle charging stations as well," said Mark Stevenson from Green Car Reports.
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