Electric vehicles critical step to tackling climate crisis, reducing ozone pollution
On Monday, clean car advocates announced that 6,201 Coloradans are calling on Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) to adopt the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, a critical step that Colorado needs to take to protect public health and tackle the climate crisis. The AQCC will begin a public hearing on the rule starting Tuesday, with testimony open to the public from 12:30 to 3pm and 6 to 8pm. They will vote on whether to adopt the standards on Thursday, August 15th or Friday, August 16th.
Since vehicle emissions are one of the largest contributors to the dirty and dangerous air days in Colorado, adopting the ZEV program, which would speed up Colorado’s transition to electric-powered vehicles, is one of the biggest actions Colorado can take in the next year to reduce smog and air toxins and cut carbon pollution.
“As a nurse, I have witnessed a dramatic increase in respiratory illnesses in my patients due to the increase in ozone pollution in our state. Climate change is a public health emergency and we must act now to protect our communities.” – Brittney Wilburn, Registered Nurse
“Vehicle emissions are one of the biggest reasons we have so many unhealthy, dirty air days in Colorado. By adopting the advanced clean car standards, Colorado can take a big step toward reducing smog and air toxins, cut carbon pollution, and save Coloradans money when they fuel or maintain their vehicles.” – Danny Katz, CoPIRG Director
According to an analysis of the rule by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment’s Air Control Pollution Division, adopting ZEV in Colorado would cut 3.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 307 metric tons of ozone precursor pollution through model year 2030. Electric-powered vehicles also offer a significant cost savings for consumers to fuel and maintain, costing the equivalent of $1 per gallon to fuel and with significantly lower maintenance costs. The state estimates that adopting the rule will save Coloradans more than $1 billion in total through 2030.
Organizations and businesses that support the adoption of ZEV include Conservation Colorado, Environment Colorado, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), Ceres, Colorado Moms Know Best, Union of Concerned Scientists, UQM, Siemens, EVGo, BYD Heavy Industries, Scout Clean Energy, Green Alpha Advisors, Lever Energy Finance, Buglet Solar, Atlasta Solar, IKEA, First Affirmative Financial Network, New Belgium Brewing, Alterra Mountain Company