DENVER — This week, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission will consider adopting California standards that require auto manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of zero-emission and low-emission vehicles.
Gary Kaufman, with the Air Pollution Control Division, says Colorado is out of attainment with federal clean air standards for ozone.
“Transitioning to zero-emission vehicles will be a crucial element of our efforts to bring down those ozone levels and protect the health of Colorado citizens,” Kaufman said.
Crowds of people packed into a public comment hearing Tuesday.
“Zero-emission vehicles are a solution that will help address both air quality and climate change,” said one speaker.
Supporters hope the change would also provide more electric vehicle options in Colorado.
However, others believe the idea doesn’t make sense for the state.
“Colorado’s terrain and weather are not a good match for electric vehicles,” another speaker said.
Some claim the change would drive up the cost of new cars for everyone.
“It will be about a $2,600 markup on the kind of vehicles Coloradans typically buy. That’s pick-ups, vans and SUVs,” said Tim Jackson with the Colorado Auto Dealers Association.
He wants the market to determine the future, not regulations.
“We love electric cars, it’s just that consumers in Colorado typically don’t buy electric cars,” Jackson said.
Public comment will continue into the night.
Stakeholders will have their chance to speak Wednesday.
A vote is expected by the end of the week.