By Michael Sakas/Colorado Public Radio
Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission voted Friday, eight to one, to adopt California’s Zero-Emission Vehicle program.
Automakers will now be required to sell electric vehicles. The standards mandate that zero or low-emission vehicles should account for almost 5 percent of the state’s sales by 2023. The vote follows Gov. Jared Polis’ January executive order to get more electric cars on Colorado roads.
Ten states already participate in the ZEV program. Supporters see the vote as an important step toward tackling climate change and protecting public health. By 2020, transportation is expected to account for 25 percent of the state’s carbon emissions. Overall, emissions are on the decline but transportation may take up a bigger share of that.
Jacob Smith, the executive director of Colorado Communities for Climate Action, sees the vote as a big win for the entire state, especially for rural Coloradans who often have particular vehicle needs.