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GM hops into Colorado program for immediate tax credits for EVs

DENVER — Colorado consumers can get $4,000 income tax credits as the result of legislation approved in 2016. Now, as the result of a new deal with General Motors, they can get that money immediately upon purchase without waiting to file their tax returns.

GM joins Nissan in offering the convenience.

“$4,000 now is much better than $4,000 later. This should help accelerate electric vehicle sales,” said Travis Madsen, transportation program manager for Southwest Energy Efficiency Project,

GM sells the Chevrolet Bolt EV in Colorado but has announced plans to deliver additional EVs to Colorado’s market.

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The deal is at least partly a result of a consensus agreement reached in July 2019 with auto manufacturers over zero-emission vehicle standards. The agreement created an incentive to produce greater model availability sooner, not later.

Madsen explained that Colorado both requires automakers to deliver electric vehicles to Colorado as a result of the consensus agreement and the subsequent rule-making by the Air Quality Control Commission and offers policies and tools to help automakers sell those cars.

“Colorado’s tax credit is an important policy—and it is better than a lot of other states’ tax rebates because it enables dealers to apply the rebate at point-of-sale (as GM and Nissan are taking advantage of),” he said.

Also important is the policy embodied in a law adopted in May 2019, SB19-077, which requires electric utilities to invest in transportation electrification. That will help build out all of the charging infrastructure people will need to access the benefits of driving electric.

“There’s more, but those three policies together (ZEV, rebates and utility investment) are the main pillars of Colorado’s electric vehicle strategy (at least for light-duty vehicles),” he said.

Colorado has a goal of having 940,000 light-duty EVs on the road by 2030. It is also shaping up plans to spur more electrification and perhaps other alternative fuels by medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. — Allen Best

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