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Auto industry group tries to talk Colorado out of a ZEV mandate

The lobby group instead proposes some voluntary measures to increase electric vehicle awareness in the state.

Colorado wants to increase the amount of zero emissions vehicles sold by adopting California's standards, automakers are trying to convince it to do otherwise.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Colorado has been on track to adopt California's Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) standards since Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order in January of 2019. As part of that order, it was stated that rules for the move to California's standards would be proposed by May.

Well, here we are in May, and now a lobbying group called the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is urging the state to change its mind, according to a report published Monday by Reuters. This trade group is comprised of representatives from Ford, General Motors, Toyota, the Volkswagen Group and others.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is proposing that voluntary actions on the part of the automakers would be more effective. Specifically, they would bring all California-market EVs that they make to market in Colorado by January of 2020.

The lobbying group also proposed working with the state of Colorado to offer consumers a $5,000 incentive for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles at the time of purchase. This would be a change from the current incentive program which works with tax credits.

Colorado's lawmakers will proceed with a scheduled hearing for the ZEV mandate this week, but it would seem -- based on a letter sent to the automakers from the government -- that the Alliance's proposal didn't fall on deaf ears. The state will "seek to continue discussions about a possible ZEV alternative on a parallel path."

Neither the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers nor the Office of the Governor of Colorado responded immediately to requests for comment.