Colorado Aims to Phase Out ICE Vehicle Sales but Not Ban Them

The state intends to use tax incentives and electric bicycles to encourage wider adoption of EVs.

December 13, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Colorado has introduced a plan that would phase out sales of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2050 without an outright ban on sales of these types of vehicles, reports E&E News. The plan instead utilizes tax incentives for EV drivers who would not qualify for those outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as electric bikes.

“We’re adopting an approach that meets where the market is, and where the needs are in Colorado,” said Will Toor, head of the Colorado Energy Office, in an interview with E&E News.

The Colorado plan aims to have 940,000 light-duty EVs on its roads by 2030, as well as 35,000 electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It also outlines a goal to have 1,700 fast chargers and 5,800 level 2 chargers, and the state will pay for the installation of 1,000 charging stations per year.

The plan also will give 10,000 e-bikes to lower-income state residents by 2025, as well as implement a pilot program to support cargo bikes, which are growing in popularity as a means to transport children and groceries, according to E&E News.

Colorado realizes that gas-powered vehicles could continue to be essential for residents in remote, mountainous areas, and the performance of EV-batteries are not as effective in cold temperatures.

“We are still assisting drivers in those edge cases,” Toor told E&E.

The state is seeking public comments on its EV proposal. Interested parties are invited to submit comments by December 31, 2022, via this form (or send an email to In addition, on Thursday, December 15 at 6 p.m. MT, the public is invited to attend the Colorado Electric Vehicle Coalition meeting to learn more about the draft EV Plan 2023. There will be an opportunity for public comment. Register for the meeting, and sign up to make a comment of no more than two minutes.

Although Colorado follows California’s lead in its clean-car standards, it plans to not follow the state’s outright ban of gasoline-powered vehicles. In August, the California Air Resources Board passed a plan that requires all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state to be electric vehicles or plug-in electric hybrids by 2035. Currently, 16% of all new car sales in California are zero-emission vehicles.

NACS, along with other stakeholders, filed a petition in a federal court in Washington, D.C., challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver that would allow California to implement a zero-emission vehicle mandate.

California independent gas station owners recently told the Los Angeles Times that California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate will expedite the demise of their businesses. According to NACS data, there are more than 5,000 single-store operators in the state of California.

The Convenience Matters podcast, “Where Do EVs Make the Most Sense?” examines the findings from a Fuels Institute study looking at life-cycle emissions for EVs and fuel-powered vehicles. NACS also has a topics page on electric vehicles.

NACS created an EV Charging Calculator to help retailers assess the cost and profitability of offering EV chargers at their sites. The calculator focuses on what retailer utility costs associated with EV recharging are and what the corresponding revenue must be to recover those costs after allowing for potential ancillary in-store visits and purchase profitability.