Opinion | Jessie Burley: Zero emission vehicle proposal will help fight carbon pollution | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Jessie Burley: Zero emission vehicle proposal will help fight carbon pollution

Jessie Burley
Frisco Town Council
Jessie Burley
Courtesy photo

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission this week will consider adopting a policy known as the zero emission vehicle standards. For those who aren’t interested in electric vehicles, the standards won’t impact you. But for everyone else, whether you are in the market for an electric vehicle right now, considering one for later, or even just think you might want to look at electric vehicle options at some point in the future, this is great news.

For one thing, because electric vehicles run on electricity instead of gas, they are very inexpensive to fuel – about half the cost depending on where you live. For another, they require minimal maintenance, which makes them much less expensive to operate than vehicles with conventional gasoline engines. The range on electric vehicles is growing quickly, so it’s now possible to travel considerable distances without worrying about refueling, and fueling stations are increasing thanks to initiatives like Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order. All of this helps explain why electric vehicles are becoming more popular in Colorado and around the country.

How would zero emission vehicle standards help? Although there is a wide variety of electric vehicle models on the national market, that’s not true in Colorado. Kelly Bluebook estimates that in 2018 only 12 models were sold here compared to 48 in California. If you don’t like the options available in Colorado, you either have to travel to another state or you are stuck buying a gasoline-powered car. Dealers can have a hard time getting models onto the lot. They don’t always get the sales support they need, and stories about dealers trying to talk customers out of buying hybrids and electric vehicles keep accumulating. A recent online search for electric vehicles sold in Summit County revealed nothing available. Golden or Glenwood are the closest dealerships offering those cars.

In addition, as it becomes easier to find and afford an electric vehicle that fits your needs, sales will go up, which also means the used vehicle market will expand. Whether you want a top-of-the-line electric vehicle, four-wheel drive pickup or SUV, an inexpensive sedan for getting around town, or anything in between, the zero emission vehicle standards will help make sure Coloradans have a choice of all of the electric vehicle options that are on the market.

This is good news for everyone, since electric vehicles produce much less toxic air pollution and carbon pollution, even when you consider how the electricity is generated. And Frisco, Breckenridge and Summit County all have goals to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035, making driving an electric vehicle that much cleaner.

We have to balance electric vehicles with other modes of shared mobility to reduce the overall number of vehicles on the road, making our community safer, healthier and more manageable. I support the zero emission vehicle proposal as one of several strategies to fight carbon pollution. It’s good for Colorado families and businesses, good for our environment and our economy, and good for our quality of life.

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