Sep 7, 2022 - Business

EV adoption remains stubbornly slow in Colorado

EV share of vehicle registrations by designated market area
Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Electric vehicles are still a tough sell in Colorado with limited options and scarce chargers holding back potential buyers.

Driving the news: A recent report from S&P Global Mobility says EVs make up just 6.6% of all cars in Denver.

  • Colorado counts about 61,500 registered EVs on the road, which is 1% of total registrations, figures show.

Why it matters: We're a long way from a "tipping point" for electric vehicles, Axios' Joanne Muller writes. In fact, the EV revolution has barely begun in the U.S. and it's playing out in super-slow motion — even in places where plug-in cars make the most sense.

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pledged to get 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030 as part of his efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

What they're saying: "We've been selling them for 12 years. So you can get an idea for how steep a challenge that can be," said Tim Jackson at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

Top five EVs in the Denver area
Data: S&P Global Mobility (formerly IHS Markit); Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios
  • State Sen. Faith Winter is pushing for faster adoption but acknowledged it's a slow process. "We are just seeing a lot of the cars Coloradans like to drive come on the market," the Westminster Democrat told us.
  • "We are getting there, and we are building the infrastructure, and then I think you'll see a higher adoption rate," she said.

The big picture: Nationwide, 2.5% of EVs nationwide are in Colorado. That's one of the higher rates for a noncoastal state, but significantly lags California, where 39% of all EVs are registered.

What's next: The federal government is spending $5 billion to build a national network of charging stations to incentivize new buyers

  • Colorado designated six major highways as priorities for the chargers and will receive $57 million to build them in the next five years, CPR reports.
  • In addition to major interstates, the designated roads now include rural routes on the Eastern Plains and a few connecting mountain towns.
  • On the list: U.S. highways 34, 385, 287 and 550.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more