Colorado adopts California’s EV regulations in part, but falls short of the 2035 prohibition

A new Colorado Clean Car rule, which generally mirrors California’s “Advanced Clean Cars 2” law but stops short of establishing a 2035 deadline for 100% EV sales, was overwhelmingly passed by the Air Quality Control Commission of Colorado. 

 By 2035, all new cars sold in California will be electric vehicles, according to a rule that was finalized last year. Between now and 2035, the rule aims to increase the percentage of new EV sales, with 100% ZEV and PHEV sales by that time. 

 Given that California is the US state with the highest EV adoption rate (and could probably stand to exclude PHEVs as well), we remarked at the time (and still do) that this deadline could have been accelerated for the Golden State. The California Air Resources Board argued that by adopting a more liberal standard, other states would be more likely to follow suit and form a larger group of states that could drive the auto industry in the right direction. 

 Several additional states, including New York, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland, have thus far accepted the regulation. Even better, Washington has chosen 2030 as the target year rather than 2035. 

 Colorado joined the list today but only implemented some of the recommendations. The new Colorado rule sets no targets for years after 2032, but it does set a target for new EV sales of 82% by 2032, which is in line with California’s target for that year. The charts below show how these percentages correspond: 

 Environmental organizations like the Western Resource Advocates and Natural Resources Defense Council were dissatisfied that Colorado did not adopt the complete California 2035 rule, despite the fact that the decision was unanimous and essentially follows the California rule. 

 Particularly in the Northern Front Range, which is home to Denver and its surrounding areas and is the state’s most populous region, Colorado contains parts with severely bad air quality. The region is gravely falling short of EPA pollution limits and has to take action to lessen the dangerous smog that has been afflicting citizens of Colorado. 

 This was discussed in a recent article on Colorado’s consideration of a ban on gas lawn equipment, another important factor in bad air quality. However, reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation would have a considerably greater overall good impact on air quality than would ceasing to use gas for lawn equipment. 

The state, for its part, claims that the 2035 deadline is still on the table; it has only been slightly postponed. Colorado has not yet fully enacted the ACC2 rule, but according to the CAQCC, it will contemplate doing so by the end of 2029. Let’s hope it does; alternatively, like Washington, it might outdo California and advance the deadline a little. 

 Source: Public research