The Colorado Energy Office moved on its plans for the future of transportation when it released the Colorado Electric Vehicle Education and Awareness Roadmap earlier this week.
With the help of E Source, a Boulder-based research and advisory firm for the energy industry, the roadmap includes a review of the nationwide electric vehicle market, studies on consumer awareness and barriers to electric transportation, along with over 20 interviews with electric vehicle leaders and a survey of 2,000 Coloradans to gauge their knowledge.
The goal of the roadmap was to educate Coloradans on the benefits of owning an electric vehicle and includes a plan to create a website with tools to help Coloradans in buying an EV. It identified the types of information consumers would need before buying an electric vehicle to get 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, a “foundational element” of the state’s Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020.
“This research really helped us to conduct some market segmentation and understand what messages are going to work best for consumers to accelerate that adoption curve and meet that goal,” said Zachary Owens, senior program manager for Transportation Fuels and Technology at the Colorado Energy Office and lead on the research project. “Getting the right message to consumers is really critical.”
Nationwide, there are over 1.18 million electric vehicles in use as of April 2019, according to a study done by the Edison Electric Institute. The same study showed that between 2017 and 2018, electric vehicle sales rose by 81%. EV Hub reports that as of Aug. 1, there are nearly 30,000 registered electronic vehicles in Colorado.
“We anticipate Colorado will continue to be one of the places where EV adoption will grow rapidly,” said Will Toor, executive director of the energy office. “We are very well poised for that EV growth to continue if people understand what is actually out there.”
Much of this registration, however, consists in the central counties of Colorado, particularly in Denver and Boulder counties which make up nearly 10,000 of those electric vehicles registered.
More rural counties in the western, eastern and southern counties of Colorado, on the other hand, are seeing fewer EVs and potential buyers.
“While some may want to purchase low- and zero-emitting vehicles, the existing technology and vehicle mix does not currently make that kind of choice feasible for rural vehicle buyers,” Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau, told Colorado Politics in September of 2019.
According to EV hub, 47 of Colorado’s counties currently have fewer than 100 EVs registered on the road, and 27 of those don’t have more than 10 registered.
A survey conducted by the Colorado Auto Dealers Association in January and February found that 14% of Denver drivers owned an electric vehicle, but only 6% of the statewide respondents did.