Polis Administration’s Clean Truck Strategy Would Reduce Pollution, Save Money

News Release

March 4, 2022 - Statewide News - Multi-agency draft-strategy is open for public comment to help layout a roadmap for accelerating the adoption of clean trucks in Colorado

Denver— To build upon its nation-leading climate and infrastructure goals, the Polis administration released a state strategy today to encourage the adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from these vehicles by at least 45% in Colorado by 2050.

That's the projection of the draft Clean Truck Strategy released today by the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

The clean truck strategy is part of a package of initiatives undertaken by Gov. Jared Polis to improve air quality, reduce emissions and save people and small businesses money.

"We have a historic opportunity to support a transition to clean, zero-emission trucks and buses that will reduce harmful air pollution, make progress on our climate goals and save fleets millions of dollars a year in fuel costs," said Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office. "We believe that this is an actionable and comprehensive strategic plan for Colorado that can help us jumpstart the market for zero-emission trucks and buses by leveraging new opportunities and funding sources, and ensuring our efforts are focused where they can make the greatest difference."

Medium - and Heavy-Duty vehicles include semi-trucks, school buses, snowplows, delivery vans, large pick-up trucks and many different vehicle types in between. These are the vehicles that bring Colorado kids to school, deliver food to our local grocery stores, plow our streets, repair our critical infrastructure, power our businesses and do hundreds of other critical jobs for our lives and economy. Unfortunately, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are also the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, contributing 22% of on-road greenhouse gas emissions despite being less than 10% of all Colorado vehicles.

Using input from several public meetings, stakeholder groups and the Colorado Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Study, the agencies have developed a draft strategy to accelerate clean truck adoption in the state that recognizes the increasing importance of freight to the economy.

This will help fight climate change, improve air quality and especially help communities disproportionately impacted by transportation pollution emissions. The study also found that owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks, most of whom are small businesses, could save an estimated $5.8 billion by 2050 from reduced vehicle maintenance costs and fuel cost savings by switching to zero-emission vehicles.

The Medium - and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Study found that if Colorado pursues an accelerated transition to medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles, it could reduce medium- and heavy-duty truck greenhouse gas emissions by 45% to 59%, reduce nitrogen oxide emissions 54% to 93% and reduce particulate matter emissions 53% to 68% below 2005 levels by 2050.

Key elements of the draft Clean Truck Strategy include:

  • A vision statement focused on delivering an “efficient, affordable, and equitable large-scale transition of Colorado’s medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sector to zero-emission technologies,” with a particular focus on ensuring the transition prioritizes improving air quality for those who have historically been most burdened by medium- and heavy-duty vehicle pollution.
  • Clear goals and objectives for the state to measure progress toward, including specific objectives for zero-emission vehicle adoption statewide, zero-emission vehicle adoption within the state fleet, and the electrification of the state’s transit and school bus fleets.
  • A prioritized set of 34 actions that state agencies will implement to support this transition, including near-term actions in 2022 and 2023, as well as medium-term priorities agencies will initiate as capacity allows or once necessary planning is completed. The 34 actions identified span seven different categories of initiatives, including procurement policies and programs, vehicle incentives and financing, infrastructure planning and investments, utility strategies, workforce development and regulatory actions.
  • A key focus of the strategy is the implementation and leveraging of several new opportunities and funding sources to help build the market for zero-emission trucks and buses in Colorado that collectively total nearly $1 billion in investments, not including several new federal discretionary grant programs. These new opportunities include proposed air quality investments in the governor’s 2023 budget for a new electric school bus incentive program and a clean truck replacement program, the development of the 10-Year Plans and initial program offerings for the Clean Fleet Enterprise, Clean Transit Enterprise, and Community Access Enterprise, which will invest in vehicle incentives and charging infrastructure, and historic new federal funding opportunities for charging infrastructure, hydrogen refueling infrastructure, and electric school bus and transit bus investments.
  • Following the near-term development of these foundational programs, the administration will, by the end of the year, submit a request to set a hearing to the state Air Quality Control Commission to consider adopting rules to reduce pollution from diesel vehicles and to further support the transition to zero-emission trucks and buses.

Next steps:

The public comment draft of the Clean Truck Strategy is available for review and download here.

The Polis administration, Colorado Energy Office, Colorado Department of Transportation, and Air Pollution Control Division will share the draft Clean Truck Strategy with Coloradans and invite their input. Public webinars will be held March 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and March 31 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Written comments can be sent to [email protected] and the public comment period will be open through April 4.

More details can be found at: https://sites.google.com/state.co.us/cotriporgfreight/clean-truck-strategy

About the Colorado Energy Office

To deliver on the vision of a prosperous, clean energy future for our state, the Colorado Energy Office works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumer energy costs by advancing clean energy, energy efficiency and zero emission vehicles to benefit all Coloradans. Go to energyoffice.colorado.gov to learn more.

About the Colorado Department of Transportation

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) works to provide the best multi-modal transportation system for Colorado that most effectively and safely moves people, goods and information. CDOT manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies and operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options. Find more details at codot.gov.

About the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment - Air Pollution Control Division

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) seeks to advance Colorado's health and protect the places where we live, learn, work and play. More information about the Air Pollution Control Division within CDPHE is available at cdphe.colorado.gov/environment/air-pollution-control.