(CSG PRINT) Colorado spends $550,000 on campaign to promote electric vehicle sales | Government

A Colorado state agency has spent more than half a million dollars touting the benefits of electric vehicles in an educational campaign that promotes the electric vehicle industry.

The campaign, which the state launched on Monday, aims to educate Coloradans on how, among other things, “electric vehicles can seamlessly integrate into your life and find answers to all your fuel-related questions. buying, owning and driving an electric vehicle”.

In particular, the campaign notes the tax credits available to Coloradans who wish to purchase an electric vehicle. The campaign also directs Coloradans to a list of electric vehicle dealers, as well as another webpage that compares prices. Both web pages are owned by Xcel Energy.

The spending reflects the sweeping policy shift Colorado Democrats have embraced in their quest to transition the state away from fossil fuels. What makes the latest initiative unique is that it is akin to consumer advertising, but done effectively by government on behalf of private industry.

Governor Jared Polis hopes to put 940,000 electric vehicles on Colorado’s roads over the next seven years, but, as of November 1, only about 68,000 electric vehicles are registered in Colorado, leaving the governor short of hundreds of thousands of cars.

Given the enormity of the challenge, the Colorado Bureau of Energy on Monday announced its new “transformation initiative” to increase electric vehicle purchases – a public awareness and education campaign called “EV CO” to “promote the convenience and financial and environmental benefits of driving electric cars”. ”

It cost $550,000 to develop and launch the program, agency spokesperson Ari Rosenblum told The Gazette.

“The campaign is the first of its kind by the state and reflects the Polis administration’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector while empowering Colorado consumers to make the choices that best suit their lifestyle and budgetary needs,” the agency said. in a press release.

To meet the Polis goal, auto dealers would need to sell just under 125,000 electric vehicles a year — a “hockey stick” sales increase, said Tim Jackson, director of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

Jackson added that electric vehicle sales are expected to account for about 50% of the approximately 250,000 annual new vehicle sales.

Electric vehicle sales currently account for 9.6% of all new vehicles sold in Colorado, according to the Colorado Energy Office.

Jackson said he’s “a bit more optimistic today” than he was three years ago when Polis signed the executive order setting the EV goal.

Whether Coloradans will buy electric vehicles at this rate is “the $64 billion question,” Jackson said.

“I think there will still be (internal combustion engine vehicles) even in 2035 when GM says they will be all electric on all of their models,” Jackson said. “They didn’t take the next step and say that means they won’t have petrol cars in any of those models.”

The Ford F-150 pickup, which Jackson says has been the world’s best-selling nameplate for 46 years, is now being sold in an electric version, and Ford is “significantly” increasing production volume. But Jackson said GM still plans to sell gas-powered vehicles “for the foreseeable future.”

Jackson added that even Ford Motor Company doesn’t expect the world to be fully electric by 2035.

Addressing what experts say is the No. 1 concern of electric vehicle buyers, the ability to charge when needed, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the CEO worked to build a network of public charging stations using , in part, federal grants of $550 billion. Law on investment in infrastructures and employment.

Federal legislation calls for $7.5 billion to build a national grid, with an EV charger less than 50 miles away on the interstate highway system.

Colorado requested a waiver so it could invest federal money in chargers located on secondary highways due to the rural nature of Colorado’s transportation system.

The state’s Office of Energy said as of Oct. 1, there were 3,646 Tier 2 outlets and 719 DC fast-charge outlets statewide. The bureau did not specify how many are public or private.

“The state will invest more than $25 million over the next year in state and federal funds to continue to develop and expand Colorado’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure network,” said Rosenblum, the agency spokesperson, in an email.

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