Last year, Colorado saw its EV uptake pass the symbolically important 10% marker. In the end, 10.5% of new vehicle sales in Colorado were electric vehicle sales in 2022. That’s a great result in the USA, which as a whole is closer to 6% or 7% of new vehicle sales being electric.
Colorado got to this place with an extra helping of incentives for people who go electric. Nationwide, EV buyers can get a $7,500 federal tax credit for buying an electric car. Colorado tags another $2,000 onto that, providing a state tax credit for that amount for EV buyers.
Alternatively, if you’re not the buying type but want to lease a car, you can get a $1,500 credit for leasing an electric car (instead of the $2,000 for buying one).
The financial savings of going electric are a clear attraction, as is the simple matter of price stability on its own. Sure, electricity prices go up and down, but not nearly as much as gas prices. In the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and global disruptions of oil supply chains, this is especially front of mind for many people.
Then there’s the simple matter of electric vehicles being fun. As more and more people open up to the possibility of going electric, they try out electric cars on the market and discover they’re a ton of fun. As automakers run more electric car ads during the Super Bowl (in some cases, for three years running), more “common folk” decide it may be time to try out an electric car at their local Chevy, Ford, Cadillac, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, BMW, or [fill in the blank] dealer. And as EV owners have said for years, all you need in order to convert more drivers to electricity is “butts in seats.” Get a human through the door and into the driver’s seat and most of the work is done and you’re likely to see a sales.
The convenience of home charging is something that usually takes a little more time to dawn on people. One of the first things they tend to think about is “wait, I fill up my car at a gas station a couple times a week — where would I charge an electric car and how long would it take?” They need a bit of a mental shift, or even the basic facts of how EVs charge, to realize they can simply plug their car in at home when they get home and unplug it when they leave. And that’s it. Again, Super Bowl commercials and other commercials throughout the year that show that’s how it’s done help, and start to sink in.
The other big factor is the “neighborhood effect,” or “family/friend effect.” As EV adoption rises, the chance that Joe Smith has a relative or friend with an EV rises. That means the chance that he (or she) gets into an EV and test drives one away from the local dealer also rises. Butts in seats.
In the case of Colorado, the Centennial State currently has about 73,000 electric vehicles traveling its roads, according to the Colorado Energy Office. It has a goal of 940,000 EVs registered in Colorado by 2030. With $9,500 in subsidies on the table, along with the operational savings of electric cars, the state should be able to achieve its target. But the market needs to speed up a bit.
“There is so much opportunity for growth and a new way for driving,” said Laurel Hanlon, a product specialist at Polestar Denver. Indeed.
Source: Clean Technica