Sweeping Legislation: Colorado To Become All-EV State by 2040 – Is It Possible?

The all-wheel drive Nissan IMs EV Concept. [Photo: Nissan]

Moving toward zero emissions

As his first executive order after becoming Governor of Colorado, Governor Jared Polis signed an order to aid Coloradans to move from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles. Recently, the State of Colorado received over $68.7 million from the automotive manufacturer Volkswagen AG as part of the “Dieselgate” U.S. settlement. Among Colorado’s environmental issues, the money is earmarked for cutting NOx and carbon dioxide emissions, reducing ozone concentrations and more.

According to this executive order, the money will help transition Colorado into a low/zero emissions state. Colorado automotive consumers will be provided with less expensive options for electric vehicles. Consumers will be given incentives to cut emissions while the state builds an infrastructure that can handle increased (EV charging stations and power) demands.

Governour Jared Polis. [Photo: CBS4 Denver]

CBS reports, “Our goal is to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040 and embrace the green energy transition already underway economy-wide,” said Polis.

The executive order and its ramifications for the automotive industry in Colorado is not embraced by all.

Colorado Automobile Dealer’s Association President and CEO Tim Jackson chimed in on the Polis’ move. “We trust Colorado consumers, who care about the environment as much as anyone, to be able to freely choose to buy the vehicles that they need at home or work. These consumers range from rural Coloradans who farm and ranch to suburban parents who need to transport the Little League or soccer team. 

Tim Jackson –
CADA President and CEO Tim Jackson. [Photo: CADA]

Three-quarters of Coloradans choose vehicles from the light truck category, which includes pickups and SUVs, to meet Colorado’s challenging driving conditions. There is a reason you don’t see electric vehicles pulling horse trailers or hauling six kids to their events.”

Currently, electric car pricing options for Coloradans starts over $30,000 (before government credits) for a base-model, low range, front-wheel drive model like the 2019 Nissan Leaf. The least expensive all-wheel drive EV currently available in Colorado is the Tesla Model 3, which can easily surpass the $50,000 mark. These prices do not include home chargers.

2019 Nissan LEAF Plus (e+)


Editorial comment: The infrastructure has to be in place soon. While I support electric cars and I know that automakers are about to embark on a big push towards EV production, we’re not ready yet. At least not in Colorado. Mr. Jackson is correct about there being no affordable choice for family movers, utility vehicles or haulers. Still, there are signs that things are changing in that direction:

  • Ford Motor Company just announced their intent to build an EV F-150 pickup truck in the near future. They also indicated a (near) future push towards several EV offerings.
  • General Motors signaled interest in building an EV pickup as well.
  • Tesla is working on an EV pickup truck. There should be EV pickup trucks and SUVs coming from new players. Rivian, Workhorse, Bolinger and Atlis are just a few examples.
  • Volkswagen is close to introducing an electric crossover, minivan and other options in our market very soon. They should be far more affordable than current Tesla vehicles.
  • Nearly every automaker has or will have EV offerings for public consumption. This will include inexpensive options as well.
  • Several charging station expansions and “green” power initiatives are already well in the works nationwide.

There’s a lot people can say on both sides of this executive order. It’s ambitious, optimistic and it’s off-putting to many. There’s a lot that needs to be done to make this a reality. That includes a statewide push to demystify the EV lifestyle.

As TFL is based in Colorado, this is a topic that we intend to watch closely. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, watch us shred the environment as we off-road in these old gas-burners!