Automakers Lobby Against Colorado Adopting California-Like Zero-Emissions Vehicle Laws: Report

Colorado's Governor Jared Polis has directed his state to copy California's zero-emissions vehicle laws, and the industry isn't happy.

Colorado is on a path to codify California-like laws mandating that automakers sell a minimum number of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) each year, and automakers have reportedly joined forces to convince the state’s lawmakers not to follow through.

California has, since 1990, required carmakers to sell a certain number of ZEVs each year. Since introduction, the proportion of sales that ZEVs must make up has increased, and nine other states have adopted the regulation, with Colorado possibly soon to follow. State Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order in January demanding that a formal proposal be drafted by the end of May.

According to Reuters, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (representing Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, and others) met with Governor Polis on April 15 to argue the proposal and sent him a letter on April 29 promising to increase their ZEV efforts within the state without any legal encouragement.

In the letter, the automakers reportedly pledged to bring every EV that goes on sale in California by Jan. 1, 2020 to Colorado, though whether this encompasses all alt-energy models (hydrogen fuel-cell, hybrids, and battery-electric cars) or just battery-powered vehicles was unspecified. More aggressive marketing for these vehicles was also allegedly promised in the letter.

State officials reportedly responded positively to the AAM’s letter on Monday, speaking of a “real opportunity to work together.” Though a ZEV proposal will be examined this week, the state legislature reportedly promised to “seek to continue discussions about a possible ZEV alternative on a parallel path.”