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Today saw a victory for energy security, electric vehicle owners, and the environment, as HB 1247, Colorado’s Innovative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit, was signed into law. While the State of Colorado is already an established leader in supporting adoption of electric vehicles, the new provisions in this bill extend the existing tax credit’s duration and apply it to plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and Toyota Plug-In Prius. Expanding the Innovative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit to these vehicles helps advance electric vehicle adoption and technology. Incentives such as this are needed because many drivers are turned off by the higher upfront costs of electric vehicles, in addition to being hesitant or unwilling to consider compromising the “range” of a gasoline car while battery and charging technologies continue to improve. Specifically, HB 1274 will:
- Specify that plug-in electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Ford C-Max Energi are included in the existing credit.
- Change the credit calculation at the request of the Department of Revenue, to simplify administration and make it easier for dealers and consumers to understand the credit.
- Extend the credit for innovative motor vehicles. The original 2009 bill specified the level of credit available through 2015; HB 1247 extends the credit for innovative motor vehicles including electric, plug-in electric, and CNG vehicles through 2022.
Robbie Diamond, Founder and CEO of SAFE and the Electrification Coalition, stated, “This bill will get more electric vehicles on Colorado roads and accelerate the transition away from oil and toward a diverse set of domestic fuels to power our transportation sector. That transition is good for consumers and local businesses alike, and will protect our nation from the economic and national security problems caused by oil dependence. Policy steps like this, combined with efforts like our Drive Electric Northern Colorado program, show that the state of Colorado is truly leading the way in the United States.”
The Colorado tax credit of $6,000 supplements a federal tax credit for electric vehicles of $7,500. While both are beneficial individually, combined they create a truly impressive offset towards the higher initial costs of plug-in cars (it’s important to keep in mind that the costs of fuel and repairs for electric vehicles are far below their conventional counterparts; for full details, see the Drive Electric Comparison Calculator).
Colorado’s clear leadership in supporting electric vehicle adoption was confirmed by a new study by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), which gives it an “A-“ grade for its state laws, showing that the state’s pro-EV policies make it a clear leader in the region.
For more information about SAFE and the EC’s work in Colorado, visit DriveElectricNoCo.org, and follow @DriveElectricNC on twitter.