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Coloradan consumers win with approval of ‘Zero-Emission Vehicle’ program

Consumer Reports urges strong oversight to ensure program success

DENVER, CO — Consumer Reports today praised the state of Colorado’s approval of a Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program as a win for consumers. A recent survey by Consumer Reports found that most prospective car buyers in Colorado are interested in electric cars, trucks and SUVs, which is why the state’s passage of a ZEV program is so important.

“We’ve heard from people across Colorado who want to save money and reduce air pollution by choosing electric vehicles,” says Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for Consumer Reports. “Thanks to this decision, Coloradans can expect to be among the first to get access to electric vehicles, including electric pickups and SUVs, as they come to market in the coming years.”

Colorado is now the eleventh state to adopt a ZEV program, which will make it easier for consumers to buy an electric vehicle. Several Consumer Reports supporters from Colorado testified before their state’s commission in support of the ZEV program. Several hundred more Colorado residents signed a Consumer Reports (CR) petition in support of the ZEV program as well.

“Oversight by Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission will be very important to ensure this program is a success,” adds Baker-Branstetter, who testified as an expert witness for the commissioners during Colorado’s ZEV rulemaking process. “Automakers insisted that, by giving them extra leeway, the program will deliver even more electric vehicles than under the original proposal, and consumers in Colorado will be counting on the state commission to hold automakers and dealers accountable to this promise in the years ahead.”

Despite broad interest in electric vehicles, most prospective car shoppers in Colorado — 85 percent — are unaware Colorado currently offers a tax credit for consumers purchasing or leasing a new electric vehicle, according to the CR survey. And current access to electric vehicles in the state is lacking: only 36 percent of Colorado car shoppers said they saw a plug-in electric vehicle available to buy the last time they were at an auto dealership — compared to 43 percent of prospective car buyers nationwide. And only 45 percent of Coloradans say they’ve seen an advertisement for an electric vehicle, compared to 67 percent of prospective car buyers nationwide, according to this CR survey.

Electric vehicles not only offer consumers a way to reduce maintenance and fuel costs when they drive, but also reduce air pollution. Denver is 12th in the nation among cities with the worst asthma-causing smog, according to a recent American Lung Association study. And the EPA is also proposing to label Denver and the northern Front Range as a “serious” violator of air quality standards.

Consumer Reports, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, has a guide to help consumers decide if an electric vehicle is right for them: Electric Cars 101: The Answers to All Your EV Questions.

Media Contact: Adam Winer, adam.winer@consumer.org, 202-462-6262 x7444

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Consumer Reports is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.

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