Colorado Extends $6,000 Plug-in Vehicle Credit Through 2021
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper Wednesday signed into law a pair of bills relating to plug-in and other alternative fuel vehicles, including a measure to extend a plug-in vehicle tax credit into the next decade. The "Innovative Motor Vehicle Income Tax Credit" (HB1247) passed the Colorado House last week by a 40-21 margin, and will extend Colorado's existing incentive program—which provides up to a $6,000 tax credit toward the purchase of a new plug-in and as much as $7,500 toward a conversion—until 2021.
Joining HB1247 on the governor's desk was the "Special Fuel Tax & Electric Vehicle Fee" (PDF), which established a special tax on electric vehicle registration that has also won the support of EV advocates in the state. The measure is a favorable compromise for plug-in owners after Colorado recently joined a number of other states in seeking to recover lost gas tax revenue from EVs. Where other states are considering fees in excess of $100, or per-mile systems that could be even more expensive to drivers, Colorado adopted a flat $50 annual fee—$20 of which will go toward a fund supporting charging infrastructure.
Unlike other state-level EV incentives, like those in California and Hawaii, Colorado will not cap the number of credits it awards before 2021. This means that unless the state legislature takes action to end the program early, it will be open to as many residents as demand plug-ins in the state.
Colorado Among the Most EV-Friendly States
"With the extension of the alternative fuel programs, we'll see more consumer acceptance and more alternative fueled vehicles on Colorado roadways," said Paul Guzyk of Boulder Hybrid Conversions, in an interview with PluginCars.com. "It's great to see Colorado out in front of other so-called green states." Guzyk previously co-founded 3Prong Power, a plug-in conversion business in Berkeley, Calif., before moving to Colorado, where conversion incentives allow his new business to convert Priuses at a fraction of the cost to consumers.
Earlier yesterday, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) released a state government report card that awarded Colorado the top grade in the region for its support of electric vehicles. The state received an A- rating, thanks to twelve policies supporting electric vehicle adoption, including the bills signed into law today.
Colorado's incentives were already "among the most generous in the nation" according to SWEEP, but the $6,000 tax credit had been scheduled to expire in 2015. The extension, coupled with a compromise on annual EV fees, will help the state to continue to its aggressive support EV adoption for years to come.
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