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Clean Vehicles

Colorado Encourages Residents to Drive Electric

Jenny Ueberberg

Drive Electric Colorado is a new initiative designed to educate residents about the positive reasons to make the switch to driving an electric vehicle (EV).

The new plan focuses not only on the environmental benefits of going electric on the roads but the financial savings as well.

The initiative is partially funded by a grant from the United States Department of Energy – and Colorado is just one of 17 states in the process of rolling out their electric vehicle program via the federal government’s Drive Electric USA.

Photo Courtesy dcbel

“It’s not just about the cars; it’s about the people and the policies and the roads and the utilities and clean energy and all of that kind of thing, bringing it all together,” said Drive Electric Colorado Executive Director Bonnie Trowbridge.

Right now, only about 6 percent of all vehicles used in the Centennial State are electric. The state hopes to increase that 20 times over, with a goal of almost 1 million EVs on the road by the end of the decade. The Drive Electric program will highlight the many benefits for consumers who make the switch, including significant fuel savings (an estimated $250 per consumer per month), a reduction in maintenance costs, and a decreased individual carbon footprint. Drive Electric is also taking its case to auto dealers. Car dealerships will receive similar information, including instructions on charging information and local, state, and utility incentives for buyers.

It’s a critical time for Colorado’s net-zero emission goals.

As of 2020, the transportation sector stood at number one on the state’s list of greenhouse gas offenders. The more consumers and businesses that go electric, the closer the state gets to reaching its emission goals.

Photo Courtesy dcbel

“Even electric vehicles that are powered solely from coal power sources are still cleaner than gasoline vehicles because they’re more efficient,” Trowbridge continued. “Most of the emissions that come from vehicles come from tailpipes and from the tires. Tire emissions aren’t carbon emissions, but being able to address that 100 percent of that tailpipe emissions is important.” 

Drive Electric Colorado is one of many programs across America. Last year, Americans purchased more than 434,000 electric vehicles and 801,000 hybrid models, demonstrating that the switch to electric is becoming increasingly popular. Many states are expanding their charging station offerings to keep up with states such as California, which is home to 30 percent of the stations in the country. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law last year, includes $7.5 billion for building new charging stations. Automobile manufacturers are embracing the change, with EV manufacturer Rivian planning a large facility in Georgia, Ford opening a multi-billion-dollar EV plant in Tennessee, and Toyota announcing a battery plant in North Carolina.

As consumer demand grows, programs like Drive Electric Colorado are key to educating drivers on potential savings, charging options, and how their choice is good for the environment as a whole.

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