Since Americans spend an average of 87 minutes a day in their cars and approximately two-thirds of Canada-to-U.S. trade is moved by truck, it's no surprise that road transportation is one of the chief causes of harmful emissions in the United States. Despite the fact that the Trump administration is trying to do everything in its power to prevent any more automakers from opposing recent auto emissions rollbacks, that's not stopping Colorado lawmakers from embracing the plans first put into place by the Golden State. In a recent eight-to-one vote, Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission swiftly decided to adopt the Zero Emission Vehicle program already in place in California.
According to recent predictions, roughly 107 million vehicles will be manufactured worldwide in 2020. But in order to sell cars in Colorado moving forward, automakers have to offer electric vehicles for purchase. In fact, these mandates regulate that low-emission and zero-emission vehicles should represent nearly 5% of Colorado's vehicle sales by 2023. That's a tall order, but it's rather expected, as Governor Jared Pollis issued an executive order in January in an effort to increase the number of EVs on Colorado streets. Colorado already ranks fourth in the nation for electric vehicle sales, and it makes sense that a state so focused on outdoor preservation and wellness would adopt these measures.
Although zero-emission vehicles aren't so different in terms of appearance, owning one will likely require you to add a charging station to your carport (which typically measures 12 feet to 24 feet wide) or garage in order to make fueling up more convenient. But while some opponents argue that the customer demand won't meet increasing supply due to perceived costs of ownership, supporters of the vote view this as an essential step towards protecting the health of local residents and of the planet as a whole.
With this vote, Colorado becomes one of 10 additional states to observe California's zero-emission vehicle standards, joining Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and Rhode Island in their mission. Since the Denver region is particularly prone to smog (not unlike Los Angeles) and is considered to be the 12th most polluted city in the U.S., it's no wonder that legislators and citizens alike have been pushing for action.
It helps, of course, that California is on track to achieve its goals with this program in place. By 2030, the state should cut its emissions to under 300 million metric tons. And while transportation rates did increase by 0.7% in 2017, total emissions decreased by 1% overall that year. What's more, current transportation levels are likely in the process of leveling off, explained the California Air Resources Board report.
In a statement, California Governor Gavin Newsom said, "California is proving that smart climate policies are good for our economy and good for the planet. As the Trump administration attempts to obliterate national climate protections, California will continue advancing the cause of American climate leadership."