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Gov. Jared Polis Steers Colorado Toward Electric Cars In First Executive Order

DENVER (CBS4) - Gov. Jared Polis signed his first executive order as Governor on Thursday, aimed at getting more Coloradans into electric cars. The executive order outlines a number of initiatives and strategies to help drivers transition from gas-guzzlers to zero-emission vehicles.

They includes providing car buyers with less expensive options for electric cars, and creating a team that will work to develop the infrastructure needed to power those vehicles.

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"Our goal is to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040 and embrace the green energy transition already underway economy-wide," said Polis.

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The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) released a statement in response to the executive order, likening Polis' plan to California's electric vehicle mandates.

CADA President and CEO Tim Jackson said, "We trust Colorado consumers, who care about the environment as much as anyone, to be able to freely choose to buy the vehicles that they need at home or work. These consumers range from rural Coloradans who farm and ranch to suburban parents who need to transport the Little League or soccer team. Three-quarters of Coloradans choose vehicles from the light truck category, which includes pickups and SUVs, to meet Colorado's challenging driving conditions. There is a reason you don't see electric vehicles pulling horse trailers or hauling six kids to their events."

But Polis maintains the demand for zero emission alternatives is there.

"Despite the fact that Colorado has some of the highest consumer preference for electric vehicles," countered Polis, "still many manufacturers don't sell all of their models here, and instead offer them in states that have adopted the ZEV [zero emission vehicle] standard."

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The executive order makes use of nearly $70 million dollars Colorado was awarded in a settlement with Volkswagen, with the current goal of having more than 900,000 electric vehicles buzzing around Colorado by 2030.

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