Shortcut to cleaner air? Electric vehicles

Chevy Volt
CSU and the Collaboratory work to make EV’s part of the future of transportation in Colorado.

CSU researchers are working with other Colorado institutions to make electric vehicles attainable for Coloradans.

According to the “Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020” released in April, transportation is one of the two largest sources of ozone precursors along with oil and gas production. Reducing transportation emissions in Colorado is a critical strategy to meet federal health-based air quality standards. 

In 2019, The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reclassified the Denver Metro/North Front Range ozone area from a Moderate to a Serious non-attainment area under the Clean Air Act. 

To lower transportation emissions, the Colorado EV plan details a large-scale transition of Colorado’s transportation systems to zero-emission vehicles. The long-term goal is to have 100% of light-duty vehicles be electric and 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles be zero-emission. 

“This work is driven by the fact that this is one of the very few ways to rapidly reduce air pollution and is a major part of decarbonizing the transportation system,” said Tom Bradley, systems engineering department head.

Bradley is part of the CSU research team, in conjunction with The Collaboratory, tasked by the Colorado Energy Office to compile and organize research on electric vehicle infrastructure and grid-integration. This work will signal to the market that “Colorado is open to innovation, research, and commerce in support of” switching to EV. 

The Collaboratory comprises Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It was founded as a clean energy research partnership focused on leveraging science and engineering capabilities at each member institution. 

“The EV plan lays out that Colorado is determined to put up infrastructure, systems, policy, and pricing to make it possible for people to buy electric cars,” Bradley said. “The dream is to make it so that electric vehicles are a functional part of the transportation system moving forward.”


Read the full report here. CSU and The Collaboratory are mentioned on Page 23.