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Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopts zero-emission vehicle standard

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard for Colorado early today in an 8-1 decision. The new zero-emission standard adopts California ZEV requirements, with automakers to sell more than 5% zero-emission vehicles by 2023 and more than 6% zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Eleven states now have a ZEV standard.

Certification for ZEV emission standards of the new 2023 and subsequent model year passenger cars, and light-duty trucks will be made pursuant to the California code. The standard is based on a matrix of credits given for each electric vehicle sold, depending on the vehicle’s zero-emission range.

The new requirement does not mandate consumers to purchase electric vehicles, but experts say it will result in manufacturers selling a wider range of models in Colorado, including SUVs and light trucks.

The zero-emission standard does not compel anyone to buy an electric vehicle. It only requires manufacturers to increase ZEV sales from 2.6% to 6.23%. It’s a modest proposal in the face of a critical threat.

—Garry Kaufman, director of the Air Pollution Control Division at the department

The commission invited public comment at various hours of the day and evening, and also invited remote testimony by telephone to make it easier for those who could not travel to the Front Range. The commission’s decision came after a robust public comment period, as well as significant written and oral testimony from parties providing information on all aspects of the standard.

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