Denver Auto Show highlights new electric vehicles

As the Denver Auto Show kicks off this week, it's clear that electric vehicles have taken the main stage. With dozens of new models from dealers, consumers have more options in 2023 than ever before. From Audi’s compact Q4 e-tron to Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup truck to Kia’s powerful EV6, the variety of electric vehicles are creating more opportunities for consumers to go electric and shows Colorado is poised to ramp up EV’s on the roads over the next few years.

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Alexandra Simon

Former Public Health Advocate, CoPIRG Foundation

New models at all price points open up options for consumers

As the Denver Auto Show kicks off this week, it’s clear that electric vehicles have taken the main stage. With dozens of new models from dealers, consumers have more options in 2023 than ever before. From Audi’s compact Q4 e-tron to Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup truck to Kia’s powerful EV6, the variety of electric vehicles are creating more opportunities than ever before for consumers in Colorado to go electric.

Alexandra Simon | Used by permission
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning can go 0-60 in less than 5 seconds and could provide power to a whole house!

The transition to electrified transportation is a critical strategy for reducing air pollution in Colorado, and electric vehicles are a large piece of that pie. Air quality continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing Colorado residents, especially those along the Front Range who are living or working in one of the non-attainment areas with higher levels of ozone and particle pollution. In fact, both Jefferson and Douglas counties rank in the top 25 most polluted counties nationally for ozone, and Denver-Aurora was the 7th most polluted city nationally for ozone. 

Ozone has various negative health impacts including inflaming and damaging airways and making the lungs more susceptible to infection, as well as causing coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Children are especially at risk because their lungs are still developing and they tend to be more active outdoors, which increases exposure.

The transportation sector is also the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, exacerbating climate change, rising temperatures, wildfires and more extreme weather.

Alexandra Simon | Used by permission
The new 2023 Kia EV6 can get up to 300 miles per charge, has all wheel drive, and offers an even faster model with 577 horsepower. Electric vehicles don't use internal combustion engines, and therefore don't pollute the air like gas-powered cars.

In response to these challenges, leaders in Colorado have helped pave the way to transition to a 100% electric transportation system – and the journey is well underway. 

In the state’s recently released 2023 Electric Vehicle Plan, the state sets a new goal of having 2.1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2035, a bold step forward from the previous goal of 940,000 by 2030. In 2023, Colorado is 1st in the region and 5th in the country in EV market share for new vehicle sales. 

Recent legislation like last year’s SB22-193 funded $65 million to help school districts purchase electric school buses, putting Colorado on the map nationally as a leader in electric school bus funding. This year, the state legislature is considering HB23-1272 which would provide a state tax credit up to $5,000 for electric vehicles as well as an $800 statewide tax credit towards electric bicycles.  

Alexandra Simon | Used by permission
The new all-electric 2023 Chevy Equinox marks the first electric SUV from the company, which can get up to 300 miles per charge. Chevy has had the electric compact Bolt on the market since 2017.

This year’s auto show only underscores the acceleration of this transition, especially as consumers grow weary of volatile prices at the gas pump.  The new range of models is making it easier than ever for consumers to find the electric car of their dreams and move Colorado towards a 100% electrified transportation future. 

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Alexandra Simon

Former Public Health Advocate, CoPIRG Foundation

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