Colorado Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Colorado laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:
Colorado's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Planning
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program requires the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to submit an annual EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. The submitted plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Tax Credit
Qualified EVs titled and registered in Colorado are eligible for a tax credit. Light-duty EVs purchased or leased before January 1, 2029, are eligible for a tax credit equal to the amounts below, per calendar year:
|Vehicle Type||Prior to July 1, 2023||July 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023||2024||2025||2026||2027||2028|
|Light-duty EV||$2,000 for purchase; $1,500 for lease||$5,000||$5,000||$3,500||$1,500||$1,000||$500|
|Light-duty electric truck||3,500 for purchase; $1,750 for lease||$2,800 for purchase; $1,750 for lease||$5,000||$3,500||$1,500||$1,000||$500|
|Medium-duty electric truck||$5,000 for purchase; $2,500 for lease||$4,000 for purchase; $2,500 for lease||$12,000||$12,000||$4,000||$4,000||$4,000|
|Heavy-duty electric truck||$10,000 for purchase; $5,000 for lease||$8,000 for purchase; $5,000 for lease||$12,000||$12,000||$8,000||$8,000||$8,000|
Light-duty EVs purchased or leased between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2029, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price below $35,000 may receive an additional tax credit of $2,500.
The credit amount for any qualifying truck is limited to the difference in manufacturer’s suggested retail price between the qualifying truck and a comparable truck that operates on either gasoline or diesel fuel. Eligible purchased vehicles must be new, and eligible leased vehicles may not have a lease term of less than two years. The financing entity may collect an administrative fee of no more than $250.
For more information, see the Colorado Department of Revenue Individual Income Individual Tax Guidance Publications website.
Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) Plazas Program
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) administers the Colorado Electric Vehicle (EV) DCFC Plazas Program. Priority locations are near downtown areas, high-density housing, commercial developments, transit hubs, transportation network company dense areas, and underserved communities. Eligible applicants may receive grants up to 80% of project costs at each proposed location. Awardees must provide five years of continuous use. For additional information, including requirements and funding availability, see the CEO EV DCFC Plazas Program website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Grants
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) provides grants through the Charge Ahead Colorado program to support EV and EV charging stations adoption by individual drivers and fleets. Grants will fund 80% of the cost of EV charging station, up to the following amounts:
|EV Charging Station Type||Power Output Rating||Maximum Incentive per Station|
|Level 2||Under 19 kilowatts (kW)||$4,500|
|Level 2||19 to 49 kW||$6,250|
|Single-Port Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC)||50 to 99 kW||$35,000|
|Dual-Port DCFC||50 to 99 kW||$50,000|
|Single-Port DCFC||Greater than 99 kW||$50,000|
|Dual-Port DCFC||Greater than 99 kW||$70,000|
Enhanced incentives of up to 90% of the cost of a Level 2 EV charging station are available for income qualified applicants and entities in disproportionately impacted communities. Eligible applicants include local governments; state and federal government agencies; public universities; public transit agencies; private non-profit or for-profit corporations; landlords of multi-unit dwellings; and owners associations of common interest communities. For more information, including application deadlines, see the CEO Charge Ahead Colorado website.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-38.5-103)
Electric Vehicle (EV) and Infrastructure Coaching Service
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) administers the ReCharge Colorado program (ReCharge) to advance the adoption of EVs and installation of charging infrastructure in Colorado. ReCharge provides coaching services to consumers, local governments, workplaces, and multi-unit dwellings to help them identify monetary savings, grant opportunities, and other EV benefits. ReCharge also helps build local stakeholder support for EVs. For more information, see the CEO ReCharge Colorado website.
Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Program Grants
The Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT) provides grants through the AI Accelerator Programs to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s AIs. Grants may be available for advanced industries such as vehicle and component manufacturing and biofuels. Four types of grants are available, including Proof of Concept, Early-Stage Capital and Retention, Collaborative Infrastructure, and AI Exports. For more information on each grant program, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the OEDIT AI Accelerator Programs website.
Fleet Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Technology Grants
The Clean Fleet Vehicle and Technology Grant Program, administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) through the Clean Fleet Enterprise, offers grants to business and government fleets for the purchase of new AFVs or the conversion of existing fleet vehicles to operate on alternative fuels. Eligible projects include light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, and eligible alternative fuels include electricity, hydrogen, and compressed natural gas. Incentive amounts vary based on vehicle technology and gross vehicle weight rating. For more information, including additional eligibility criteria, see the CDPHE Clean Fleet Enterprise website and the Clean Fleet Vehicle Technology Grant Program guide.
Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Sales Tax Exemption
Vehicles, vehicle power sources, or parts used for converting a vehicle power source to reduce emissions are exempt from state sales and use tax. Exempt vehicles include vehicles certified to federal LEV standards that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 26,000 pounds (lbs.). The exemption also applies if the GVWR is greater than 10,000 lbs. and if the vehicle, power source, or parts used for converting the power source meet the definition of a category 4, 4A, 4B, 4C, 7, or 7A truck, as defined in Colorado Revised Statutes 39-22-516.8. The vehicle power source includes the engine or motor and associated wiring, fuel lines, engine coolant system, fuel storage containers, and other components.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 39-26-719)
Electric Vehicle Emissions Inspection Exemption
Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity are exempt from state motor vehicle emissions inspections. For more information, see the Air Care Colorado website.
(Reference Code of Colorado Regulations 204-11)
Idle Reduction Weight Exemption
Any motor vehicle equipped with a qualified auxiliary power unit or idle reduction technology may exceed the state’s gross, total axle, or bridge formula vehicle weight limits by up to 550 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. To be eligible for the weight exemption, the vehicle operator must be able to provide written proof of idle reduction technology weight and demonstrate or certify that it is fully functional at all times.
(Reference 8 Code of Colorado Regulations 1507-28)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Weight Exemption
Gross vehicle weight rating limits for AFVs are 2,000 pounds greater than those for comparable conventional vehicles, as long as the AFVs operate using an alternative fuel or both alternative and conventional fuel, when operating on a highway that is not part of the interstate system. For the purpose of this exemption, alternative fuel is defined as compressed natural gas, propane, ethanol, or any mixture containing 85% or more ethanol (E85) with gasoline or other fuels, electricity, or any other fuels, which may include clean diesel and reformulated gasoline, so long as the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission determines that these other fuels result in comparable reductions in carbon monoxide emissions and brown cloud pollutants.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4-1104 and 42-4-508)
Natural Gas Fueling Station Air Quality Permit Exemption
Natural gas fueling stations are exempt from the requirement to file Air Pollutant Emission Notices.
Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) administers the Colorado Clean Diesel Program (CCDP), which provides funding to private and public entities to replace diesel vehicles and equipment with all-electric or hybrid-electric equivalents. Eligible projects include terminal tractors, construction equipment, bucket trucks, transportation refrigeration units, airport ground support equipment, lawn mowers, farm tractors, bucket trucks, snow groomers, idle-reduction technologies, and associated charging infrastructure. A minimum cost share is required and varies by project technology. CCDP is funded by the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. For more information, see the CCDP website.
Point of Contact
Colorado Clean Diesel Program
Phone: (970) 704-9200 x104
Industrial and Manufacturing Operations Emissions Reduction Grant
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) will administer the Industrial and Manufacturing Operations Clean Air Grant Program (Program), which funds projects that reduce emissions from industrial and manufacturing operations, including transportation electrification and hydrogen projects. Eligible applicants include private entities, local and tribal governments, and public-private partnerships. Projects located in underserved communities or areas in nonattainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards may receive priority consideration. Additional terms and conditions apply.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-38.5-116)
Electric School Bus Grant
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will administer the Electrifying School Buses Grant Program (Program), which provides funds to schools for the purchase of electric school buses and associated charging infrastructure. Eligible projects include the purchase and maintenance of electric school buses; the conversion of fossil-fuel powered school buses to electric buses; the purchase and installation of charging infrastructure; and electrical upgrades to support associated charging infrastructure. Eligible applicants include public school districts, charter schools, schools operated by tribal governments, and nonprofit partners acting on behalf of a school district or charter school. Schools located in underserved communities or areas in nonattainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards may receive priority consideration. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, see the CDPHE Colorado Electric School Bus Grant Program website.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 25-7-1401)
Fleet Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Grants
The Colorado Energy Office Fleet Zero-Emission Resource Opportunity (Fleet-ZERO) grant program offers competitive grants to fleets for the purchase and installation of EV charging infrastructure. Eligible applicants include light-, medium-, and heavy-duty fleets; independent owner-operators; charging providers; and property owners, developers, and managers. Maximum grant awards may vary by applicant type. For more information, including additional program requirements, see the Energy Office Fleet-ZERO website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Tax Exemption
EV charging station owners are exempt from paying property tax on the stations until January 1, 2030.
Hydrogen Production Tax Credit
Hydrogen fuel producers may receive a tax credit equal to up to $1 per kilogram (kg) for the use of clean hydrogen in “hard-to-decarbonize” sectors of the economy, including heavy-duty vehicle transportation. Clean hydrogen is defined as hydrogen that is derived from a clean energy resource or uses water as the source of the hydrogen. For more information, see the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Tax Credit Certificates website.
Utility / Private Incentives
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate - San Isabel Electric Association (SIEA)
SIEA offers customers rebates for the purchase and installation of Level 2 and direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations. Rebates are available in the following amounts:
|Technology Type||Rebate Amounts|
|Non-Networked Level 2||50% of eligible costs, up to $500|
|Networked Level 2||50% of eligible costs, up to $1,000|
|DCFC with 50 kilowatt (kW) Peak Output||50% of eligible costs, up to $3,000|
|DCFC with 100kW+ Peak Output||50% of eligible costs, up to $5,000|
For more information, including how to apply, see the SIEA EV Education website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate - San Isabel Electric Association (SIEA)
SIEA residential customers a $500 rebate for the purchase of qualified EVs. For more information, including how to apply, see the SIEA EV Education website.
Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Energy offers residential customers a $500 rebate for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 EV charging station. Low-income residents are eligible for a rebate of up to $1,300. For more information, including application details, see the Residential Rebate website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Loan Program – Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA)
GCEA members may borrow an EV for one day without any cost or mileage restrictions. For more information, including how to apply, see the GCEA EV Test Drive Program website.
Non-Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate – Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Energy offers TOU rates to commercial customers that operate EV charging stations. For more information, see the Black Hills Energy Ready EV website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate - Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA)
GCEA offers rebates to residential customers for the purchase of Level 2 EV charging station. Eligible customers may receive a rebate for 50% of the cost to purchase and install an EV charging station, up to $1,250. To qualify, applicants must sign up for a time-of-use rate. For more information, see the GCEA EV Charging Station Rebate website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Incentive – Holy Cross Energy (HCE)
HCE offers free or discounted EV charging stations for residential customers. For more information, including how to apply, see HCE’s Charge at Home website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Installation Loan– Holy Cross Energy (HCE)
HCE offers commercial customers a loan for the purchase and installation of an EV charging station. Customers must repay the loan through their monthly electricity bill. For more information, including how to apply, see the HCE Charge at Work website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support
Colorado utilities joined the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), committing to create a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific of the United States. NEHC utility members agree to ensure efficient and effective fast charging deployment plans that enable long distance EV travel, avoiding duplication among coalition utilities, and complement existing corridor DCFC sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate - Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy offers income-qualified residential customers a $3,000 rebate for the purchase or lease of a pre-owned EV, and a $5,500 rebate for the purchase or lease of a new EV. Income-qualified residents are households with income levels equal to or below 60% of the Colorado’s median income that are currently enrolled in one of Colorado’s financial assistance programs such as the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Eligible EVs must be purchased or leased from a Colorado dealership. For more information, see the Xcel Energy EV Rebate website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate and Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate – Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy offers residential customers a rebate of up to $500 for the purchase and installation of a qualified Level 2 EV charging station. Income-qualified residents may receive up to $1,300. Income-qualified residents are households with income levels below 60% of Colorado’s median income, 200% of the relevant federal poverty level, or 80% of the area median income. To be eligible, customers must also enroll in a TOU rate. For more information, see the Xcel Energy EV Charger and Wiring Rebate website.
Laws and Regulations
Electric Vehicle (EV) Adoption Support
Beginning July 1, 2021, the Colorado Energy Office and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) must publish an annual report detailing the progress made toward meeting the EV adoption goals established in the Colorado EV Plan 2020 and the transportation greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals set in the Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap. For more information, including the annual report, see the CDPHE Clean Fleet Enterprise website.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-38.5-110)
Medium- and Heavy-Duty (MHD) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support
California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).
In July 2022, the Task Force published a multi-state action plan to support electrification of MHD vehicles. The action plan includes strategies and recommendations to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new MHD vehicle sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050, accelerating the deployment of MHD ZEVs, and ensuring MHD ZEV deployment also benefits disadvantaged communities.
For more information, see the Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEVs: Action Plan Development Process website.
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Sales Requirements and Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards
Colorado established ZEV standards, pursuant to Colorado’s authority under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act, Title 42 of the U.S. Code, section 7507. All Model Year 2022 and later passenger cars and light- and medium-duty vehicles must meet California motor vehicle emissions and compliance requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.
In October 2023, Colorado adopted the California vehicle emissions standards and compliance requirements set forth in the California Air Resources Board Advanced Clean Cars II regulation. These new emissions standards and requirements will begin in 2027 and require 82% of new passenger vehicles solid in Colorado must be ZEVs by 2032.
For more information, see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment LEV Standards website.
Colorado Electric Vehicle (EV) Plan
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), along with the Transportation Electrification Workgroup, will develop a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) and clean transportation plan containing strategies that support the deployment of ZEVs and expand mobility options to save energy, reduce congestion, and improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network. In March 2023, CDOT released the Colorado EV Plan 2023 (Plan), supporting the state’s long-term goal of electrifying 100% of light-duty vehicles (LDVs) and transitioning 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) to ZEVs by 2050. To meet these goals, the Plan recommends the following actions:
- Increase the number of light-duty EVs to 940,000 by 2030;
- Increase adoption of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to at least 30% of new sales by 2030;
- Work with utilities, private companies, site hosts, local governments, and others to increase the deployment of EV charging stations and infrastructure across the state to meet 2030 LDV and MHDV ZEV goals;
- Encourage the replacement of car trips with electric mobility options where feasible;
- Engage community-based organizations and underserved communities in EV deployment planning; and
Establish workforce development and training goals to support ZEV and related infrastructure deployment.
Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) West Plan
Colorado joined Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming (Signatory States) in signing the REV West memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor that will make it possible to seamlessly drive an EV across the Signatory States' major transportation corridors.In 2019, the Signatory States signed a revised REV West MOU to update their EV corridor goals based on progress to date. Signatory States are committed to:
- Educate consumers and fleet owners to raise EV awareness, reduce range anxiety, and increase EV adoption;
- Coordinate on EV charging station locations to achieve a consistent user experience across Signatory States;
- Use and promote the REV West Voluntary Minimum Standards for EV charging stations and explore opportunities for implementing the standards in Signatory States;
- Identify and develop opportunities to incorporate EV charging stations into planning and development processes such as building codes, metering policies, and renewable energy generation projects;
- Encourage EV manufacturers to stock and market a wide variety of EVs within the Signatory States;
- Identify, respond to, and collaborate on funding opportunities to support the development of the plan; and
- Support the build-out of direct current (DC) fast charging stations along EV corridors through investments, partnerships, and other mechanisms.
Public Electric Utility Services Authorization
Public electric utilities may provide electricity to charge electric vehicles (EVs) as unregulated or regulated services and may recover the costs of distribution system and infrastructure investments to accommodate EV charging. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) must evaluate the impact EV charging revenue has on utility retail rates, which cannot exceed 0.5% of the total annual revenue requirements of the utility.
Public electric utilities are required to file an application with the PUC for widespread transportation electrification programs every three years. Programs may include investments or incentives to facilitate the deployment of customer- or utility-owned EV charging stations and associated electrical equipment, support the electrification of public transit and other vehicle fleets, create rate designs or programs that encourage EV charging, and conduct customer education, outreach, and incentive programs that increase awareness of transportation electrification.
Transportation Electrification Workgroup
The Transportation Electrification Workgroup (Workgroup) will develop, coordinate, and implement state programs and strategies to support transportation electrification in Colorado. The Workgroup will report to the governor on annually on progress made towards the goals.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, along with the Workgroup, will revise the state Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for allocating funds from Colorado’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. The revised plan will focus all remaining eligible funds on supporting transportation electrification.
(Reference Executive Order B 2019 002, 2019)
Transportation Impacts Stakeholder Group
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will convene and engage with a stakeholder group to examine and address impacts of new transportation technologies and business models. The topics include funding transportation infrastructure needed to support the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) and incentivizing the adoption of ZEVs for use in commercial applications. In 2019, CDOT and the Colorado Energy Office published a report on the progress and policy recommendations of the stakeholder group.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 43-1-125)
Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing and Operation Support
Colorado state agencies must support the testing and operation of AVs. AV usage is authorized if the driving system complies with state and federal laws, or if approved by the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Department of Transportation. AVs are motor vehicles equipped with technology that allows vehicle automation to perform one or more driving functions without the direct control of the driver.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Policies for Multi-Unit Dwellings
A tenant may install Level 1 or Level 2 EV charging station at their own expense on or in leased premises. The landlord may seek a fee or reimbursement for the actual cost of electricity as well as the cost of installation or upgrades to existing equipment. In addition, the tenant may request that the EV charging station be accessible by other tenants, in which case the EV charging station must comply with all applicable property requirements, and the landlord may seek a fee to reserve a specific parking space. The landlord may also require the tenant to comply with safety, system registration, and aesthetic requirements or provisions.
Common interest communities must also provide residents with an opportunity to charge EVs and may not create restrictions around EV charging stations. Common interest communities are encouraged to allow use of EV charging stations and to apply for grants from the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund or otherwise fund the installation of EV charging stations on common property as an amenity for residents and guests.
Alternative Fuel Tax
Compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and propane are subject to excise tax imposed on a per gallon basis as follows:
Fuel Type Tax CNG $0.183 LNG $0.12 Propane $0.135
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 39-27-102)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Fee
EV owners must pay an annual fee of $50 for an EV decal, in addition to other registration fees. For registration periods beginning during Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and every subsequent year, the Colorado Department of Revenue is authorized to adjust the registration fee for inflation. Additionally, beginning in FY 2022, the state may collect an EV road usage equalization fee at the time of registration. Registration fees for each FY are as follows:
FY All-Electric Vehicle Fee Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fee 2022-2023 $4 $3 2023-2024 $8 $5 2024-2025 $12 $8 2025-2026 $16 $11 2026-2027 $26 $13 2027-2028 $36 $16 2028-2029 $51 $19 2029-2030 $66 $21 2030-2031 $81 $24 2031-2032 $96 $27
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-3-304)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Parking Regulations
Any vehicle that is not actively charging may not park in designated EV charging parking spaces. An EV is presumed to not be charging if it is parked at a charging station and is not connected to the charger for longer than 30 minutes. Some exclusions apply, including for EVs parked at lodging or airports, and between the hours of 11pm and 5am. The penalty for violation is $182.
Public Utility Definition
A corporation or individual that resells alternative fuel supplied by a public utility for use in an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) is not subject to regulation as a public utility. Additionally, a corporation or individual that owns, controls, operates, or manages a facility that generates electricity exclusively for use in AFV charging or fueling facilities is not subject to regulation as a public utility provided that the electricity is generated on the property where the charging or fueling facilities are located and the electricity is generated from a renewable resource. For the purposes of this definition, alternative fuel is defined as propane, liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, or electricity.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 40-1-103.3)
Vehicle Fleet Maintenance and Fuel Cost-Savings Contracts
Government fleets may finance the lease or purchase cost of alternative fuel vehicles and alternative fueling infrastructure through energy performance contracts where vehicle operational and fuel cost savings pay for the capital investment. Energy performance contracts must show that the annual cost savings associated with the fueling and maintenance of vehicles with higher efficiency ratings or alternative fueling methods is equal to or higher than the annual contract payments.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Registration
Upon registering a motor vehicle with the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles, the vehicle owner must report the type of alternative fuel used to operate the vehicle and whether the vehicle is dedicated to one alternative fuel or uses more than one fuel. The Department of Revenue provides forms for the purpose of registering motor vehicles and must include space for the following fuel types: gasoline, diesel, propane, electricity, natural gas, methanol/M85, ethanol/E85, biodiesel, and other. For more information, see the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles website.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-3-113)
Low-Speed Electric Vehicle (EV) Access to Roadways
A low-speed EV is self-propelled using electricity as its primary propulsion method, has at least three wheels in contact with the ground, does not use handlebars to steer, displays a vehicle identification number, and meets manufacturer requirements as defined in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations section 565. A low-speed EV may be operated on a roadway with a speed limit of up to 40 miles per hour (mph) as long as the roadway’s lane is at least 11 feet wide, the roadway provides two or more lanes in either direction, and the Colorado Department of Transportation has determined that operation of a low-speed EV on the roadway poses no substantial safety risk. Otherwise, a low-speed EV may only be operated on a roadway with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Regardless, a low-speed EV may directly cross any roadway with a speed limit greater than 35 mph. A Class-B low-speed EV is defined as a low-speed EV that is capable of traveling at greater than 25 mph but less than 45 mph. A Class-B low-speed EV may be operated only on a roadway with a speed limit of 45 mph or less, but may directly cross a roadway with a speed limit greater than 45 mph. The Colorado Department of Revenue may not register or issue a title for a Class-B low-speed EV until after the U.S. Department of Transportation has adopted a federal motor vehicle safety standard for low-speed EVs that authorizes operation at greater than 25 mph but less than 45 mph. Neither a low-speed EV nor a Class-B low-speed EV may be operated on a limited-access highway.
Natural Gas Fueling Station Regulations
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety, enforces regulations concerning the design, construction, siting, installation, and operation of retail natural gas fueling stations, including mobile fueling vehicles and equipment.
Natural Gas and Propane Licenses
Any person or entity that distributes, supplies, imports, exports, carries, or blends natural gas or propane must obtain a license from the Colorado Department of Revenue.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 39-27-104)
Hydrogen Fueling Station Regulations
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS), enforces rules concerning retail hydrogen fueling stations. The rules include information regarding inspections, specifications, shipment notification, record keeping, labeling of containers, use of meters or mechanical devices for measurement, submittal of installation plans, and minimum standards for the design, construction, location, installation, and operation of stations. For more information, see the OPS Regulations and Statues website.
(Reference 7 Code of Colorado Regulations 1101-17 )
Renewable and Alternative Fuel Storage Tank Regulations
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety, enforces rules concerning the placement of underground and aboveground storage tanks that contain alternative and renewable fuel. For the purpose of these regulations, an alternative fuel is a motor fuel that combines petroleum-based fuel products with renewable fuels; a renewable fuel is a motor vehicle fuel produced from plant or animal products or wastes.
State Agency Alternative Fuel Use and Vehicle Acquisition Requirement
The Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA) requires all state-owned diesel vehicles and equipment to be fueled with a diesel blend of 20% biodiesel (B20), subject to the availability of the fuel and so long as the price differential is not greater than $0.10 more per gallon compared to conventional diesel. Biodiesel is defined as fuel composed of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from plant or animal matter that meets ASTM specifications and is produced in Colorado. DPA must increase the use of alternative fuels and establish objectives to increase its use for each succeeding year. DPA must purchase motor vehicles that operate on compressed natural gas (CNG), electric vehicles, or vehicles that operate on other alternative fuels, subject to the availability of vehicles and adequate fueling infrastructure and assuming the incremental base or life cycle cost of the vehicle is not more than 10% over the cost of a comparable dedicated conventional vehicle. Some vehicles may be exempt from this requirement if available alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) do not meet application requirements. On or before November 1 of each year, DPA must submit a report to the general assembly outlining vehicle purchases, including alternative fuel and conventional vehicles; alternative fueling infrastructure availability in the state; AFV purchase exemptions; administrative policies in place to facilitate the purchase of AFVs; suggested changes to facilitate the gradual conversion of the motor vehicle fleet to AFVs; and a plan for the necessary infrastructure development.
Gasoline and Diesel Gallon Equivalent Definition
Motor fuels, including alternative fuels, may be sold by gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) as long as the dispenser used for the sale of motor fuel in GGEs or DGEs clearly displays the applicable conversion factor and other required information. (Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 8-20-232.5)
Climate Action Plan
The Air Quality Control Commission (Commission) must adopt rules and regulations to meet state-wide goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050, compared to 2005 GHG emission levels. To develop rules and regulations, the Commission must identity and solicit input from communities that are disproportionally impacted by GHG pollution and environmental risk, such as minority, low-income, tribal, and indigenous populations. The Division of Administration of the Department of Public Health and Environment (Division) must report to the general assembly on a bi-annual basis regarding the progress towards the GHG reduction targets and make recommendations on future legislative actions to address climate change.
On January 14, 2021, the Division released the GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap with recommendations to reduce GHG pollution in the transportation sector by 25% by 2025, 40% by 2030, and nearly 100% by 2050 to meet state-wide GHG emission targets. Recommendations include securing new revenue to fund infrastructure and incentives for electric cars, trucks, and buses and that the Colorado Energy Office develop an Electric Vehicle Equity Study to identify frontline communities who are disproportionately affected by transportation pollution or experience barriers to equitably access electric transportation.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations Funding Authorization
The Colorado Community Enterprise (Enterprise), a government-owned business, is authorized to implement grant, loan, or rebate programs for EV charging stations. Funding may be issued for the following:
- Public, workplace, transportation network company, and multi-unit dwelling EV charging station installations;
- EV charging station installations for communities, including disproportionately impacted communities;
- EV charging stations for medium- and heavy- duty electric vehicles (EVs) including, electrified refrigerated trailers;
- Networks and plazas of direct current fast charging (DCFC) infrastructure; and,
- Infrastructure needs to support the powering of hydrogen fuel cell motor vehicles.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-38.5-303)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Special License Plate
The Department of Revenue must issue a special license plate for EVs. The taxes and fees for the EV license plates are the same as the amount as the taxes and fees for regular motor vehicle license plates.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-3-259)
Clean Energy Career Program
The State Council and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources must create an industry driven energy sector career pathway for implementation before the 2022-2023 academic year. The energy sector includes occupations and activities relating to the development, installation, and maintenance of products or technologies in the areas of electric vehicles, electric vehicle supply equipment, hydrogen fuel cell technology, and renewable natural gas.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-46.3-104)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Building Standards
The Colorado Energy Code Board (Board) must develop a model EV-ready building code for counties, municipalities, and state agencies by June 1, 2023. Members of the Board are appointed by the Director of the Colorado Energy Office. The Board must include the following elements in the model building code:
- EV-ready and EV-capable requirements for commercial and residential buildings;
- EV-ready, EV-capable, and EV charging station installation requirements for 20% or more parking spaces at multifamily and commercial buildings;
- Pre-wiring requirements for single-family residential buildings, multifamily, and commercial buildings
Building codes must consider the cost-effectiveness of pre-wiring for EV charging stations. At a minimum, EV-ready parking spaces must have electrical panel capacity, raceway wiring, a receptacle, and a circuit overprotection devise to support an EV charging station with a minimum capacity of 208V.
Public Transit Electrification Incentive Authorization
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is authorized to issue grants, loans, and rebates through the Clean Transit Enterprise (Enterprise), a government-owned business, to support public transit electrification planning, facility upgrades, fleet vehicle replacement, and construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The Enterprise may impose a fee to raise funds for financing programs. For more information, see the CDOT Enterprise website.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 43-4-1201)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Permitting Policy Development
By March 1, 2024, the Colorado State Electrical Board (Board) must adopt rules to facilitate EV charging station development at multi-family housing and require permit compliance with the EV power transfer infrastructure requirements in the Model Electric Ready and Solar Ready Code. For more information, see the Colorado Energy Code Board website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Parking Space Designation Requirement
For the purpose of any minimum parking requirements imposed by a board of county commissioners; any parking space served by an EV charging station or any parking space to site EV charging equipment must count as at least one standard automobile parking space. Similarly, any van-accessible parking space that is designed to accommodate a person in a wheelchair and is served by an EV charging station, must count as at least two standard automobile spaces. This requirement does not apply to dedicated handicap spaces.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Development Authorization
The Colorado Department of Transportation may collaborate with public or private entities to develop EV charging stations along state highway rights-of-way, including rest areas.
Fleet Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Authorization
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is authorized to issue grants, loans, and rebates through the Clean Fleet Enterprise (Enterprise), a government-owned business, to business and government entities for the replacement of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty fleet vehicles with clean vehicles. Eligible projects include electric, hydrogen, and renewable natural gas vehicles as well as idle reduction technology. The Enterprise may impose fees to raise funds for financing programs. For more information, see the CDPHE Enterprise website.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 25-7.5-103)
Government EV Charging Station Fee
The Department of Military and Veteran affairs may charge a fee for using EV charging stations at any National Guard facility to fund ongoing maintenance and operation of the equipment.
Hydrogen Production Support and Requirements
By September 1, 2023, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) must begin researching clean hydrogen production projects. By December 1, 2024, the PUC must establish greenhouse gas emissions requirements for clean hydrogen producers and production projects.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Requirement
Colorado has adopted the California Advanced Clean Trucks requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, requiring manufacturers to meet California ZEV production and sales requirements. Beginning with model year 2027, manufacturers will be required to sell zero-emission trucks as an increasing percentage of their annual sales for Class 2b through Class 8 vehicles in Colorado. ZEVs include all-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. For more information, see the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Clean Trucking website.
(Reference 5 Code of Colorado Regulations 1001-24)
Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Standard
Beginning July 1, 2026, EV charging stations sold in Colorado must be ENERGY STAR certified. For more information, see the ENERGY STAR EV Chargers website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Policies for Multi-Unit Dwellings
A housing association (Association) may not prohibit the installation of a Level 1 or Level 2 EV charging station for personal use within the EV charging station owner’s designated parking space or a parking space accessible to other tenants. In addition, an Association may not assess or charge an EV charging station owner any fee for the placement or use of an EV charging station in the owner’s unit, except for the cost of electricity. Tenants must comply with safety requirements, registration agreements, and reasonable aesthetic provisions. The unit owner must agree to comply with design specifications, hire a licensed and registered electrical contractor, pay for installation and maintenance costs, and obtain appropriate insurance for the charging station.