So Much For #RadiCalifornia: Electric Cars Go Bipartisan

Gov. Jared Polis (D).

The Greeley Tribune’s Trevor Reid reports on executive orders signed today by Gov. Jared Polis to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in Colorado, including shifting funds from the emissions fraud settlement with Volkswagen to building out electric charging infrastructure:

Gov. Jared Polis signed Thursday morning an executive order to support a transition to electric vehicles.

The executive order establishes a work group of 17 members from 13 state departments to develop policies and programs supporting the transition to electric vehicles, as well as a revision to the state’s allocation of the remains of $68.7 million it received from the Volkswagen emissions settlement to support electrifying transportation including transit buses, school buses and trucks. The work group will report to the governor beginning July 1 on its progress.

Polis pointed to transportation as a key contributor to local air pollution, causing health complications for children and adults with asthma and other chronic conditions.

“Nationwide and in Colorado, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions,” Polis said.

Among the attendees at the press conference today was Republican Sen. Kevin Priola, who spoke immediately after Gov. Polis:

Sen. Priola’s high-profile appearance at today’s press conference in support of Polis’ executive orders to encourage the switch to electric vehicles, part of the new governor’s plan to move the state to 100% renewable energy sources, scrambles the politics for Republicans looking to take their inevitable potshots on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. During the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, Republicans lambasted Polis for his “radical” campaign pledge of a transition to 100% renewable energy.

After Polis trounced his Republican opponent and Democrats triumphed in the legislature last November, here’s a swing-district Republican up in 2020 turning over a new (Nissan) Leaf.

As they say, elections matter.

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46 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Never fear, the right wingers are still shitting themselves. Where's Moderoverreach? 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      My prediction: Priola will be ostracized by the RWNJs and other fossilonians. He will fill the void left by the departure of Cole the Mole. Perhaps they will recruit former Rep Joanne Windholtz to run in a primary against him.

      Stay the course, Senator! Some day soon, they will denounce you!

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      So, if the purchase is made in another state, doesn't the law specify taxes need to be paid when it is licensed here?  Or is Amy Oliver Cooke announcing she plans to evade taxes by licensing out of state, too??

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    If one spends their entire time driving on pavement, an electric car can work. Some people, like me, want to legally go off paved roads. I've yet to see a reliable 4 x 4 that is electric powered. Another drawback is range. A 3rd drawback is Colorado still getting maybe 40% of its electricity from coal fired power plants.

    • itlduso says:

      FYI – I saw an interesting story on Axios yesterday reporting on a newly unveiled company called GBatteries that says it has technology allowing recharging of EV batteries in five minutes for 119 miles (i.e., a similar time it takes to refuel a gas car), and ten minutes for about 190 miles.  There are several caveats noted in the story, but it's encouraging to see major advancements for EV range and charging on the horizon.

    • DavieDavie says:

      CHB — Ford is working to give you options

      Ford is building hybrid and all-electric F-150 pickups it says won't skimp on power

      Even the Explorer will have a hybrid model for 2020.  That model year should see a tidal wave of hybrid and/or fully electric vehicles from a wide range of manufacturers.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Davie: thanks for the tip. I bought a Nissan Xterra in Dec., 2006; my first foreign make; and I'm still driving it with over 166,000 miles.

        Car before was a Ford Explorer. Clutch went out around 35,000 miles and I had to get towed off the top of Guanella Pass west of Denver. Clutch went out again; along with the rear end; around 65,000 miles. I won't buy an American brand again.

  3. deathpigeon says:

    No one tell any of them how much carbon is burned in the making of electric cars (hint: it's a lot). It's better for the environment to keep your old car or buy a used car than to buy an electric one, and much, much better for the environment to use public transportation than to buy an electric car. They'd do more for the environment by getting FasTrack fucking finished already than supporting a transition to electric cars.

    Plus, electric cars are only carbon neutral if the power grid is carbon neutral. If it's not, they're actually less efficient than gas burning cars are. Now, transitioning our power grid to renewables would be beneficial in general, but electric cars are also less efficient than, say, electric trains because electric trains don't need to store charge in a battery, then use it from that battery, but get their charge directly from the electric grid.

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    1. Xcel Energy has committed to not burning dinosaur piss and poop by 2050.

    2. This transition will take more than two decades.

    3. We have to set goals and start somewhere. 

    4. Range will improve. Batteries will get better.

    5. There will still special cases where ICE vehicles make sense. But, 70+% of all "cars" could be electric.

    6. And, by 2060 it will be illegal for humans to drive on pavement in the USA.

  5. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    The thing about Polis is that he thinks outside the box. I'm not sure he even acknowledges that the box exists. When he directs people to "develop policies and programs" to encourage electric vehicle use, he is harnessing the brainpower of experts in the field.  He's mandating that people from different disciplines – scientific, social, governance- work with each other.  He also

    directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop a rule establishing a zero-emission vehicle program, proposing that rule to the Air Quality Control Commission by May for possible adoption by Oct. 30.

    With advances in battery storage and design, off road renewable-powered vehicles could be developed. Colorado already gets 25% of its electricity from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar. So running off our existing grid is already making progress towards a 100% renewable energy goal.

    It will keep young people like my future son in law busy putting solar on roofs. It will create those 17,000 jobs in rural areas like Pueblo and Greeley, without depending on more fracking and oil and gas development.

    These moves are a beginning and show a change in values and priorities. No, they will not instantly create off-road electric vehicles for CHB, nor close the remaining coal plant that powers 100% of my electricity,  nor will they instantly create fleets of buses and trains for public transport, as the pigeon wants.

    Progress, not perfection. Long term goals, not short term fixes, soundbytes, or photo ops Jared's not posing in front of a windmill, as Cory Gardner did.

    As Governor, Jared is directing Colorado to make progress towards that 100% renewable energy goal. And we'll all breathe easier along the way.

    graphic by Environmental Entrepeneurs, accessed on solarreviewsnews.com

    • deathpigeon says:

      How is a subsidy for making electric vehicles outside of the box thinking? That seems pretty firmly inside of the box and, for that matter, well below the bare minimum we need.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        If you actually read my comment, rather than instantly responding with, "That's not enough," you'll see that I claimed Polis' creating a commission was a start, a change in values and priorities. Laying the groundwork.

        There will be more. It's only his first executive order. He's already articulated a big vision for 100% renewables by 2040. 21 years away.  But feel free to criticize and push the guy – he'll need pressure from the left to make progress.. Goddess knows he'll get plenty from the right.

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Where do you see a "subsidy for making electric vehicles"?

        The most I see is "$68.7 million it received from the Volkswagen emissions settlement to support electrifying transportation including transit buses, school buses and trucks" — which could be a variety of possibilities, including buying vehicles and increasing the number of charging stations for fleet operations or congested areas.  The impact ought to be measured by what that money would buy if it wasn't used for electrifying transportation — which I'd guess is probably buying the state newer vehicles that don't pollute as much.

  6. Gray in Mountains says:

    I'm hoping Polis' actions cause some dealers to bring lots of used electric/hybrid vehicles to CO. I think, because of range issues, that Prius is for me.

    • itlduso says:

      Gray, check out my new post above to Conserv Head Banger re: new technology on the horizon for super fast recharging.  It's encouraging.

      • DavieDavie says:

        I'm with Gray — unless you live in the city, or exclusively drive along the interstate, pure electrics aren't yet practical (and most of the exciting new battery/charging systems are still years away).

        While in NYC, I rode in several different hybrid taxis (Camry, Prius, and a specialty hybrid that was built specifically for taxi duty by, I believe, Nissan), and was very impressed.  I also rented a Ford Fusion hybrid sedan in Florida, and it was extremely nice.  They are so smooth and quiet, it is a bit startling at first.

        Of course, I just saw that a gallon of regular gas is only $1.85 in SE Denver a couple of days ago so it'll also take gas getting back in the $3.50+ a gallon range before demand will pick up for hybrids and/or electrics.

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          I note that the Ford F-150 is about to become a power generator on wheels. Not only will this be an incredible advantage for builders, landscapers, musicians, and others who need to work outdoors, it could revolutionize disaster relief, by providing power at a moments notice.

          I hope Dodge isn't far behind..with a 3/4 ton.

  7. 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

    It doesn't have to be an "either-or" between EVs and transit. Here's a quote directly from Polis in the Coloradoan, 10/12/18 – "When you give people options and they are choosing not to drive to get to work, either by biking or by the bus, it can not only save them time and money, potentially, but it also addresses infrastructure in the same way, by reducing the burden on our roads…” What Polis does over the course of 4 or 8 years is of course yet to be seen, but he made a fair number of statements supporting transit on the campaign trail. Plus, much of the transit in CO is not completely state-run, it's often through special districts like RTD or RFTA. While I favor expanding transit over reliance on SOVs, how we get it accomplished is only to a certain extent a function of state government.

  8. DavieDavie says:

    Frank Bruni of the New York Times speculates about our reluctant President

    BuzzFeed’s Cohen Story Suggests Trump Never Wanted to Be President

    His campaign was a marketing venture. Why else refuse to put business on hold?

    It would be ironic if *rump goes to jail all because he accidentally won the election.

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