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Colorado releases new electric vehicle plan

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), a non-regulatory department within the Governor’s Office focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by advancing clean energy, energy efficiency and zero emission vehicles, has released the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020.

Colorado released its first electric vehicle plan two years ago, establishing a target of 940,000 EVs by 2030. According to CEO’s EV Dashboard, there are currently 19,294 battery-electric vehicles and 9,428 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on Colorado roads.


BEVs and PHEVs currently on the road in Colorado. Source: CEO EV Dashboard.

The vision for the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020 is the large-scale transition of Colorado’s transportation system to zero-emission vehicles, with a long-term goal of 100% of light-duty vehicles being electric and 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles being zero emission. The plan outlines five primary goals:

  1. Increasing the number of light-duty EVs to 940,000 by 2030. This will require maintaining 50% plus annual growth rates. For the near term, interim targets are to increase the number of new light-duty electric vehicles sold on an annual basis from 4,156 in 2017 to 10,500 by 30 June 2020 and to 23,500 by 30 June 2022.

  2. Developing plans for transitioning medium-duty (MDV), heavy-duty (HDV) and transit vehicles to ZEVs. CEO, CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) and RAQC (Regional Air Quality Council) will work with industry, electric utilities and other stakeholders to establish t imelines, identify strategies and dedicate sufficient resources to develop a plan for the medium- and heavy-duty sector by July 2021. CDOT, RAQC and CEO will also work with transit agencies, electric utilities and other stakeholders by July 2021 to establish timelines, identify strategies and dedicate sufficient resources for the conversion of the state transit fleet to 100 percent zero emission vehicles no later than 2050, with an interim target of at least 1,000 ZEV transit vehicles by 2030.

  3. Developing an EV infrastructure goal by undertaking a gap analysis to identify the type and number of charging stations needed across the state to meet 2030 light-duty vehicle (LDV), MDV and HDV goals. CEO, working with state partners, will develop an EV infrastructure goal by undertaking a gap analysis to identify the type and number of charging stations needed across the state to meet the 2030 LDV, MDV and HDV goals by 2022.

  4. The state will increase the number of state agencies that offer workplace charging from five in January 2020 to 10 by the end of FY 2022. State agencies will prioritize purchase of ZEVs for light-duty applications, increasing the number of ZEVs in operation or on order from at least 200 by end of 2020 to 375 by January 2022, with a goal of electrifying all vehicles that have appropriate use cases by 2030.

  5. Developing a roadmap to full electrification of the light-duty vehicle fleet in Colorado. As part of the development of the GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap, the state will evaluate the necessary timeline for light-duty electrification to achieve the target of 90% emissions reductions by 2050. The state will conduct an analysis of policy, programs and strategies to achieve this transition and will develop recommendations for administrative and legislative action. The state will participate in the development of emissions and ZEV standards for model years 2026 and after to support the changes needed to achieve full electrification of light-duty vehicles.

The CEO plan notes that Colorado will need rapid growth of the ZEV market if the state is to meet the goal of 940,000 ZEVs by 2030. Analysis conducted on behalf of CEO in 2019 found that the recently adopted ZEV standard helps make this possible. This analysis, conducted by Navigant Consulting, modeled ZEV sales in Colorado under three scenarios: a Business as Usual (BAU) scenario; a ZEV+ Middle scenario that added in greater model availability and increased marketing; and a High scenario that added in additional infrastructure investment and added incentives.

The analysis shows that additional policy support and investments will be required to meet the goal. The 2020 EV plan recognizes this requirement by adding a policy and planning section.


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