Colorado Governor Taps Colorado DOT for Transportation Electrification Initiative

The Colorado Department of Transportation is poised to play a key role in a new transportation electrification strategy initiated by newly-elected Gov. Jared Polis (D).

[Above photo by Colorado DOT.]

In a 5-page executive order issued on Jan. 17, Gov. Polis directed the Colorado DOT to develop a departmental electric vehicle policy and a plan “designed to assure that state transportation investments and programs support widespread transportation electrification.”

Gov. Jared Polis

“Our goal is to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040 and embrace the green energy transition already underway economy-wide,” the governor said in a statement, adding that this particular executive order “will strengthen our economy and protect the wallets of consumers across the state. As we continue to move towards a cleaner electric grid, the public health and environmental benefits of widespread transportation electrification will only increase.”

Three other major steps outlined by Gov. Polis as part of his “zero-emissions” plan include:

  • The creation of an interdepartmental transportation electrification work group, to develop, coordinate, and implement state programs and strategies to support widespread transportation electrification across the state.
  • A directive issued to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop a rule establishing a Colorado Zero Emission vehicle program, with a proposed rule to be ready for submission to the state’s Air Quality Control Commission no later than May 2019.
  • A directive issued to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to revise the state’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, which describes how the state will allocate nearly $70 million received in trust funds due to the settlement of the federal Volkswagen emissions case. The revised plan will focus all remaining, eligible investments on supporting electrification of transportation, including transit buses, school buses, and trucks.

Gov. Polis added that Colorado has already taken “significant steps” toward the transition to electrified transportation by offering a $5,000 tax credit for passenger electric vehicles and partnering with the private sector to build fast charging stations along Colorado’s major highways – efforts aimed at helping the state deploy 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030.

Chevrolet Volt Hybrid; photo by the U.S. Air Force.

The governor also made “clean energy” a cornerstone of his first state budget issued earlier this year.

“We’re going to confront climate change head-on, to ensure that we fully benefit from all of the opportunities associated with being a leader in the quickly growing clean energy economy,” he said. “Our commitment to reaching clean renewable energy by 2040 and advancing the electrification of other sectors will protect the health of our communities, save consumers money, and ensure that the good-paying green jobs of the future are created here in Colorado.”

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