Colorado is hitting the gas when it comes to electric vehicles. Or, I suppose you could say, they’re hitting the electricity transmission line. Governor Polis and his administration are doing everything they can to get more electric vehicles on the road, and the numbers say their efforts are working. However, some say that just moving drivers from one vehicle to another isn’t enough to cut back on emissions.
Electric vehicle registration is up a lot. At one-point, electric vehicles accounted for only 1% of the cars on the road. And that’s rounded up. In just a few years, they now account for 13% of all vehicles on the road. Governor Pollis made a bold declaration in 2019 when he said he wanted 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030. That’s almost a quarter of the 4.2 million licensed drivers in Colorado. With the addition of 1500 new charging stations statewide, Colorado is making it easier than ever to make the switch.
Why Doesn’t Everyone in Colorado Drive Electric Vehicles?
But not everyone can easily turn their gas guzzler into an electric vehicle. Low-income residents still have to deal with the fact that most electric vehicles are well above their price range. Even with the $2,500 purchase credits, they do little to help. The 2022 Nissan Leaf is the cheapest electric vehicle someone could own, and it comes in at $27,400. Another roadblock is that low-income residents still don’t have the facilities. Most electric vehicle owners charge their cars in their garages. That doesn’t work for apartment living, especially if the apartment mandates street parking.
Those 1500 new charging stations did include installations at multi-family housing units as well as workplaces and hotels. However, the current rollout targets higher-income housing complexes to accommodate those people who are more likely to afford an electric vehicle.
Still, the question remains: is moving to an electric vehicle that much better for the planet? The manufacturing process still requires fossil fuels to build the cars. Not to mention that Colorado just passed legislation that ties highway expansion to emission reductions. This means better moving cars to help reduce emissions. Law makers even turned down a bill that created incentives for employer driving programs that incentivized their workers to reduce single occupancy trips to work.
There’s no question about it; Colorado is still figuring it out. But last year’s $5.3 billion infrastructure should help them answer any questions. Of that money, $730 million will go to electrification of the transportation department, and another $57 million will go toward EV charging stations. More than $2 billion goes to incentives and competitive grants to raise electric vehicle usage. Hopefully, this means that electric vehicles will no longer be a status symbol for the rich but rather a feasible alternative for everyone to help the world go green.