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:
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Tax Credit
Qualified all-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) titled and registered in Colorado are eligible for a tax credit. Light-duty PEVs purchased, leased, or converted before January 1, 2026, are eligible for a tax credit equal to the amounts below:
|Light-duty EV or PHEV||$4,000 for purchase or conversion; $2,000 for lease||$2,500 for purchase or conversion; $1,500 for lease||$2,000 for purchase or conversion; $1,500 for lease|
|Light-duty electric truck||$5,500 for purchase or conversion; $2,750 for lease||$3,500 for purchase or conversion; $1,750 for lease||$2,800 for purchase or conversion; $1,750 for lease|
|Medium-duty electric truck||$8,000 for purchase or conversion; $4,000 for lease||$5,000 for purchase or conversion; $2,500 for lease||$4,000 for purchase or conversion; $2,500 for lease|
|Heavy-duty electric truck||$16,000 for purchase or conversion; $8,000 for lease||$10,000 for purchase or conversion; $5,000 for lease||$8,000 for purchase or conversion; $5,000 for lease|
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. The credit that may be claimed for converting a truck to a qualifying truck is limited to the cost of conversion.
Eligible purchased vehicles must be new, and eligible leased vehicles must have a lease term of not less than two years. A purchaser may assign the tax credit generated through the purchase, lease, or conversion to any of the above categories of vehicle to the financing entity, allowing the purchaser to realize the value of the tax credit at the time of purchase, lease, or conversion. The financing entity may collect an administrative fee of no more than $150.
For more information, see the Colorado Department of Revenue's Income 69 FYI publication.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 39-22-516.7 and 39-22-516.8)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Tax Credit
AFVs titled and registered in Colorado are eligible for a tax credit. For the purpose of the credit, AFVs are defined as dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas and propane vehicles. The tax credit is equal to the amounts listed below:
|Light-duty passenger motor vehicle||$4,000 for purchase or conversion; $2,000 for lease||$2,500 for purchase or conversion; $1,500 for lease||$2,000 for purchase; $1,500 for lease|
|Light-duty truck||$5,500 for purchase or conversion; $2,750 for lease||$3,500 for purchase or conversion; $1,750 for lease||$3,500 for purchase; $1,750 for lease|
|Medium-duty truck||$8,000 for purchase or conversion; $4,000 for lease||$5,000 for purchase or conversion; $2,500 for lease||$5,000 for purchase; $2,500 for lease|
|Heavy-duty truck||$16,000 for purchase or conversion; $8,000 for lease||$10,000 for purchase or conversion; $5,000 for lease||$10,000 for purchase; $5,000 for lease|
Eligible purchased vehicles must be new, and eligible leased vehicles must have a lease with a term of not less than two years. A purchaser may assign the tax credit generated through the purchase, lease, or conversion to any of the above categories of vehicle to the financing entity, allowing the purchaser to realize the value of the tax credit at the time of purchase, lease, or conversion. The financing entity may collect an administrative fee of no more than $150.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 39-22-516.7 and 39-22-516.8)
Fuel Reduction Technology Tax Credit
Fuel reduction technologies are eligible for a tax credit equal to a percentage of the actual cost paid for the technology. The actual cost paid must account for eligible federal credits, grants, or rebates.
|Idle reduction technologies||25% (up to $6,000)||25% (up to $6,000)|
|Aerodynamic technologies||25% (up to $6,000)||25% (up to $6,000)|
|Clean fuel refrigerated trailer||7.5% (up to $7,500)||3.75%(up to $7,500)|
|Conversion to a clean fuel refrigerated trailer||22.5% (up to $7,500)||11.25% (up to $7,500)|
|Hydraulic hybrid trailer||$4,000||$2,500|
A purchaser of a converted hydraulic hybrid trailer may assign the tax credit to the financing entity, allowing the purchaser to realize the value of the tax credit at the time of conversion. The financing entity may collect an administrative fee of no more than $150.
For more information, including maximum credit amounts, see the Colorado Department of Revenue's Income 70 FYI publication.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 39-22-516.7 and 39-22-516.8)
Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Infrastructure Grant Program
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), have partnered to provide grants through the ALT Fuels Colorado program for new, publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling equipment; co-located electric vehicle charging and propane station equipment at funded CNG stations; and CNG, and electric vehicles. CNG must be 100% renewable natural gas. CEO will administer the station grants to advance infrastructure development along major state-wide transportation corridors. RAQC will administer the vehicle grants for fleets operating within counties with air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas. For more information, including application deadlines and annual award amounts, see the Clean Air Fleets ALT Fuels Colorado website.
Point of Contact
Mobile Sources Program Manger
Regional Air Quality Council
Phone: (303) 629-5450 x230
Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging Plazas Program
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) is accepting applications for the ALT Fuels Colorado Electric Vehicle (EV) DC Fast Charging Plazas Program. Priority locations are near downtown areas, high-density housing, commercial developments, transit hubs, and transportation network company dense areas. Awardees must provide five years of continuous use. Eligible applicants may receive grants up to 80% of project costs at each proposed location. There will be two rounds of funding, and total funding will not exceed $4,000,000. First round applications are due by September 30, 2020. For additional information, including requirements, see the CEO EV DC Fast Charging Plazas Program website.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grants
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) provide grants through the Charge Ahead Colorado program to support PEV and EVSE adoption by individual drivers and fleets. Both CEO and RAQC grants will fund 80% of the cost of EVSE, up to $6,000 for a fleet-only Level 2 station, $9,000 for a dual port Level 2 station, up to $30,000 for a direct current (DC) fast charging EVSE, and up to $50,000 for a charging station capable of 100kW or higher charging. Eligible DC fast EVSE must have both CHAdeMO and SAE CCS J1772 connectors and be capable of providing at least 50 kilowatts to one vehicle.
CEO administers grants outside the Denver Metro Area while RAQC administers grants inside the Denver Metro Area. RAQC also provides funding for 80% of the incremental cost for qualified PEVs, up to $8,260. Eligible EVSE applicants are local governments, including school districts; state/federal agencies; public universities; public transit agencies; private non-profit or for-profit corporations; landlords of multi-family apartment buildings; and owners associations of common interest communities. For vehicle funding, priority will be given to organizations that are excluded from the Colorado Innovative Motor Vehicle Credit. Criteria and eligibility differ depending on which agency provides funding. For more information, including application deadlines, see the Charge Ahead Colorado Grant Application website.(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-38.5-103)
Point of Contact
Regional Air Quality Council
Phone: (303) 629-5450 x210
Impact Assistance Program for Public Fleets
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) offers funding for the incremental cost of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) for public fleets. Eligible entities include municipalities, counties, and special districts. Additionally, eligible fleets may apply for DOLA funding to cover the matching funds required through the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) ALT Fuels Colorado program. For more information, see the DOLA Energy Impact Assistance Fund Grant website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) and Infrastructure Coaching Service
The Colorado Energy Office's ReCharge Colorado program (ReCharge) works 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 housing developments 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 ReCharge Colorado website.
Point of Contact
Transportation Policy Analyst
Colorado Energy Office
Phone: (303) 866-2204
Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Program Grants
The Accelerator Programs 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 & Retention, Infrastructure Funding, and AI Exports. For more information on each grant program, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade's Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs website.
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 1 Code of Colorado Regulations 204-11 Rule 2)
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 42-4-508 and 25-7-106.8)
Natural Gas Fueling Station Air Quality Permit Exemption
Natural gas fueling stations are exempt from the requirement to file Air Pollutant Emission Notices, as they have a negligible impact on air quality. (Reference Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Regulations Number 3, Part A, Section II.D.1.hhh)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - San Isabel Electric Association (SIEA)
SIEA offers residential customers a $500 rebate for the purchase and installation of Level 2 EVSE. For more information, including how to apply, see the SIEA Electric Vehicle 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 Electric Vehicle Education website.
Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Energy offers residential customers a $500 rebate for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 EVSE. For more information, including application details, see the Ready EV website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA)
GCEA provides rebates to residential customers toward the purchase of Level 2 EVSE. Eligible customers who purchase and install EVSE can receive a rebate of 70% of the cost of the EVSE, up to $500. Customers who purchase the EVSE directly through GCEA may receive a 5% discount on the equipment. To qualify, applicants must also sign up for a time-of-use rate. For more information, see the GCEA EVSE Rebate website.
Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Energy offers non-residential customers rebates for the purchase and installation of Level 2 and publicly available direct current (DC) fast EVSE. Rebates are available in the following amounts:
|Technology||Customer Type||Rebate Amount|
|Level 2||Non-residential||Up to $2,000 per port|
|Level 2||Government and non-profit organizations||Up to $3,000 per port|
|DC fast||Non-residential||Up to $35,000 per EVSE|
Electric Vehicle (EV) Loan Program – Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA)
GCEA members have the opportunity to borrow an EV for one week without any cost or mileage restrictions. For more information, including how to apply, see the GCEA Electric Vehicle Program website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Incentive – Holy Cross Energy (HCE)
Laws and Regulations
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support
California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).
By January 2021, the Task Force will develop a multi-state action plan to support electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Task Force will consider actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050. The signatory states will also seek to accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to benefit disadvantaged communities and explore opportunities to coordinate and partner with key stakeholders.
For more information, see the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle MOU.
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. The rule will be adopted into the Code of Colorado Regulations before October 30, 2019, and will be effective in 2022. 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. For more information, see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment LEV Standards website. (Reference Executive Order B 2019 002, 2019 and 5 Code of Colorado Regulations 1001-24)
Colorado Electric Vehicle (EV) Plan
The Colorado Energy Office, Regional Air Quality Council, Department of Public Health and Environment, and Department of Transportation created the Colorado EV 2020 Plan (Plan). The Plan calls for Colorado to be a leader in the EV market and accelerate the adoption of EVs by supporting EV infrastructure along Colorado's corridors, including:
- Creating strategies and partnerships to create EV fast-charging corridors;
- Coordinating with Regional Electric Vehicle West memorandum of understanding states;
- Developing strategic partnerships with utilities, local governments, and other stakeholders;
- Updating signage and wayfinding requirements to include EV fast-charging, and;
- Ensuring economic and tourism benefits of EV charging.
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 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as unregulated or regulated services and may recover the costs of distribution system and infrastructure investments to accommodate PEV charging. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (Commission) should consider revenues from charging PEVs in the utilities service territory in evaluating the retail rate impact from the development of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), which cannot exceed 0.005% of the total annual revenue requirements of the utility.
Public electric utilities are required to file an application with the Commission for widespread transportation electrification programs within their respective service territories by May 15, 2020, and every three years thereafter. Programs may include investments or incentives to facilitate the deployment of customer- or utility-owned EVSE and associated electrical equipment, facilitate electrification of public transit and other vehicle fleets, rate designs or programs that encourage PEV charging, and 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 an 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 Coloardo'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 comprised of representatives of potentially affected entities 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. CDOT is required to report on the progress and policy recommendations of the stakeholder group during the 2019 presentation to legislative oversight committees and implement actions by October 1, 2020. (Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 43-1-125)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Transportation Plan
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), along with the Transportation Electrification Workgroup, will develop a 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. (Reference Executive Order B 2019 002, 2019).
Support for Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing and Operation
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. (Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-1-102, 42-4-110, and 42-4-242)
State Agency Petroleum Reduction and Reporting Requirements
Colorado state agencies and departments must reduce petroleum-based fuel consumption on a per vehicle basis and across the fleet. For non-exempt vehicles, the minimum annual reduction is 4% per vehicle, and at least 20% by Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 compared to a FY 2015 baseline. The exempt vehicle requirement is a minimum annual reduction of 2% per vehicle, and at least 10% by FY 2020. State agencies and departments must also achieve a total reduction in petroleum-based fuel consumption by 15% (or 7.5% for exempt vehicles) by FY 2020. The Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration may consider certain vehicles to be exempt based on agency requests; agencies must request vehicle exemptions prior to establishing the FY 2015 baseline.
State agencies must use EnergyCAP to track progress towards these goals. All state executive agencies and departments will provide the Colorado Greening Government Coordinating Council (Council) with any information not captured in EnergyCAP that is needed to complete calculations and reporting.
(Reference Executive Order D 2015-013, 2015)
Inter-Agency Fleet Improvement Coordination
The Colorado Energy Office, Department of Transportation (CDOT), Department of Public Health and Environment, and Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA) will establish a State Fleet Sub-Council (Sub-Council) to help develop, implement, and improve programs, plans, and policies that save money, reduce emissions, promote domestic fuel use, and conserve natural resources. The Sub-Council will:
- Develop standard procedures and formulas for modeling and monitoring potential alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and fuel reduction efforts that link acquisition and operations budgets;
- Create an idle reduction policy for state agencies;
- Create a process that allows fleet coordinators to replace vehicles with AFVs before standard retirement age if the replacement is cost-effective;
- Identify and evaluate other fuel-saving practices and develop procedures for their implementation; and
- Evaluate alternative financing options for state fleet vehicles including leasing, energy performance contracting, and other options that may reduce costs.
In addition, DPA and CDOT will establish policies and procedures to promote the cost-effective use of non-petroleum fuel vehicles and other fleet efficiency improvements. The policies must strive for the use of non-petroleum based fuels at least 90% of the time when cost-effective.
(Reference Executive Order D 2015-013, 2015)
Fleet Purchase and Pricing Agreement Requirements
The Colorado state fleet and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) must purchase natural gas vehicles (NGVs) where natural gas fueling is available or planned, whenever possible. Where NGVs are not viable options, other alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) such as plug-in electric, hybrid electric, and propane vehicles, must be considered. All new vehicles purchased must be either alternatively fueled or exceed federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.
In addition, CDOT and the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA) must include AFVs in state pricing agreements; AFVs include compressed natural gas, hybrid electric, plug-in electric, and propane vehicles. CDOT and DPA must also determine opportunities to expand state pricing into alternative fuel and fuel-efficient heavy-duty equipment, as well as into idle reduction technologies and telematics.
(Reference Executive Order D 2015-013, 2015)
Workplace Charging Evaluation
Colorado state agencies and departments must evaluate opportunities to improve commuting options for employees, including the installation of workplace charging for plug-in electric vehicles. Agencies and departments may coordinate with the Colorado Energy Office as needed for technical support. (Reference Executive Order D 2015-013, 2015)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Multi-Unit Dwelling Installations and Access
A residential tenant may install Level 1 or Level 2 EVSE 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 EVSE be accessible by other tenants, in which case the EVSE must be in compliance with all applicable 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 plug-in electric vehicles and may not create restrictions around EVSE. Common interest communities are encouraged to allow EVSE and to apply for grants from the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund or otherwise fund the installation of EVSE on common property as an amenity for residents and guests.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 38-12-601 and 38-33.3-106.8)
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:
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Fee
PEV owners must pay an annual fee of $50, in addition to other registration fees, for a PEV decal. Fees contribute to the Highway Users Tax Fund and the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund, which provides grants for EVSE. (Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-3-304)
Alternative Fuel Resale and Generation Regulations
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)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Parking Regulations
Any vehicle that is not actively charging may not park in designated PEV charging parking spaces. A PEV 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 PEVs parked at lodging or airports, and between the hours of 11pm and 5am. The penalty for violation is $182. (Reference House Bill 19-1298, 2019, and Colorado Revised Statutes 42-1-102, 42-4-1213, and 42-4-1701)
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. (Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 24-30-2001 through 24-30-2003 and 29-12.5-101 through 29-12.5-104)
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.
(Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 42-1-102, 42-4-109.5, 42-4-109.6)
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. (Reference 7 Code of Colorado Regulations 1101-16 and Colorado Revised Statutes 8-20-102)
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 (Division), 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 Division 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. (Reference 7 Code of Colorado Regulations 1101-14 and Colorado Revised Statutes 8-20.5-202 and 8-20.5-302)
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 fuel 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 as 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.
Additionally, DPA has adopted a policy to 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), plug-in hybrid 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. DPA has adopted a policy to allow some vehicles to 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.
Public Utility Definition
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. Alternative fuel does not include any fuel product that contains or is treated with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). (Reference Colorado Revised Statutes 25-7-106.8)
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)