The Colorado Air Quality Commission has unanimously approved a new clean car rule for the state that closely follows California’s “Advanced Clean Cars 2” rule. However, it did not set a goal of 100% electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2035, as California has done. The California rule sets an increasing percentage of new EV sales that will lead to sales of zero-emission vehicles and 100% plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by 2035.
Last year, California’s rule was passed and it became the first state in the United States to establish a timeline for full EV sales by 2035. Other states such as New York, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Maryland have since adopted similar rules, with Washington even setting a 2030 goal.
Colorado now joins the group of states with new clean car rules. However, it only implemented part of the rule, targeting 82% new EV sales by 2032, which matches California’s goal for that year. But unlike California, Colorado has not set goals for years beyond 2032.
While the vote for the new rule was unanimous and mostly followed the California rule, some environmental groups were disappointed that Colorado did not adopt the full rule by 2035. Colorado faces problems with poor air quality, especially in the Northern Front Range region, where Denver is located. The area has severe levels of noncompliance with Environmental Protection Agency pollution standards and must take steps to reduce harmful smog.
Although Colorado has not yet fully adopted the rule, the state’s Air Quality Control Commission has said it will consider full adoption of California’s ACC2 rule no later than 2029. There is still hope that Colorado will eventually set a target of 100% EV sales by 2035, or even beating California’s timeline.