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Colorado trying to boost EVs tenfold by 2030 with thousands in rebates, credits

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Shirleen Guerra

(The Center Square) – By handing out thousands in rebates and credits, the state of Colorado has an ambitious plan to get more electric vehicles on the road.

There are up to $26,000 in state and federal subsidies available to Colorado motorists looking to buy electric vehicles as part of the state's plan to increase the number of EVs on roads by 2030 by more than tenfold.

The state's goal is to have 940,000 EVs in the light-duty sector on the road within seven years. As of January 2023, there were 72,840 EVs on the road in Colorado, according to Drive Electric Colorado.

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The Colorado Energy Office says that while $26,000 in different incentives are available, motorists wouldn't be eligible for all $26,000 at the same time.

"For example, the Xcel Energy EV rebates are not stackable with the state EV tax credits, so Coloradans who qualify for the Xcel rebate would need to choose between using the Xcel rebate or using the state tax credits," Ari Rosenblum, public information officer for the Colorado Energy Office, told The Center Square in an email. "Additionally, the federal tax credit has vehicle requirements that exclude many of the EV models currently on the market. Until more vehicle manufacturers come into compliance with these requirements, Coloradans may not be able to use the federal tax credit for a discount on the vehicle they would like to purchase."

"The federal tax credit is also non-refundable, which means that lower-income individuals may not owe enough in federal taxes to take advantage of the full $7,500 federal tax credit," Rosenblum added.

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The Innovative Motor Vehicle Credit was increased to $5,000 on July 1 for the purchase or lease of a qualifying electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It doesn't apply to electric, plug-in or hybrid trucks.

From 2016 to 2020 the number of credits given out has increased by 66%, going from 3,058 to 5,086, according to the state. The state gave out $20.1 million in Innovative Motor Vehicle Credits in 2020.

The state started the Vehicle Exchange Colorado program in the end of August. It helps people under a specified income replace their high-emitting vehicles with EVs and partially cover the upfront cost. A three-person household must have a household income of $85,200 or below to be eligible for a rebate.

EVs eligible for the Vehicle Exchange Colorado program must have a sticker price of $50,000 or less.