Colorado Adopts Low-Emissions Vehicle Standards


Colorado Adopts Low-Emissions Vehicle Standards

Colorado adopted Californias low-emissions vehicle standards last week, becoming the latest state to pass measures to reduce greenhouse gases and avoid federal roll backs.

Colorado joined 13 other states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia – in adopting the California standards, which are set to exceed federal mandates when they take effect.

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Colorado adopted California’s vehicle emissions standards last week, requiring all new light- and medium-duty passenger vehicles to average 36 miles per gallon by 2025.

The regulation approved for Colorado would raise fuel economy requirements for new vehicles beginning with the 2022 model year. One lubricant industry consultant said such actions should help engine oil suppliers.

More stringent fuels economy standards will add further marketing support for the regional and local lubricant marketers and distributors as they push to up-trade customers into more synthetic motor oils. The reward for them is substantially higher margins, said Suzan Jagger, president of Jagger Advisory.

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission voted on Nov. 16 to enact a June executive order issued by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the state by 25 percent by 2025. The order stated that the commission must adopt a set of low-emission standards by the end of 2018.

By 2025 all new light- and medium-duty passenger vehicles must average 36 miles per gallon, about 10 mpg above the current requirement. Colorado did not, however, adopt a mandate requiring a certain percentage of new vehicle sales be zero-emission vehicles.

The new standards have been met with criticism by Colorado automakers, who say Californias vehicle market share is different from Colorados, according to reports. Pickup trucks and SUVs make up 75 percent of Colorados registered vehicles, compared to 53 percent in California, according to an estimate by the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

The California standards are currently the exact same as the federal ones, but the Trump administration announced its intent to roll back vehicle emission standards beginning with the 2022 model year. However, the Clean Air Act allows states to adopt Californias standards in lieu of federal standards, effectively exempting any state that does so from federal roll backs, or any other changes at the federal level.

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