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'Clean Trucks Bill' Approved in Colorado

May 5, 2014

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A “Clean Trucks Bill” has received final approval from Colorado lawmakers and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The Colorado Motor Carriers Association praised the bill.

“This legislation provides excellent incentives in the way of tax credits and a sales tax exemption for trucks over 10,001 pounds that are compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, electric, hydrogen and hydraulic hybrid trucks,” said Gregory Fulton, CMCA president. “In addition the bill reduces our form of a property tax (known as specific ownership tax) so the tax is more comparable to a conventional diesel vehicle.”

The bill, known as HB 14-1326, also:

  • Provides tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles ranging from $7,500 for a light-duty truck to $20,000 for a heavy-duty truck. The legislation also provides a state sales tax exemption for these alternative fuel vehicles. 
  • Provides tax credits for EPA Certified SmartWay technologies for aerodynamics (with the exception of tires) and idle reduction equipment. The tax credit for those SmartWay technologies would be 25% of the total cost of the equipment, up to $6,000 per unit.
  • Clarifies what alternative fuel types are eligible for credits. The bill adds lignified natural gas (compressed natural gas and propane are already in the statute) and hydrogen to the list of fuel types for vehicles that will be eligible for tax credits. The bill also expands eligibility for the electric or electric-hybrid vehicles over 8,500 pounds.

Fulton said the legislation should help to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases, provide substantial cost savings for fleets, add jobs, and support domestic energy development. 

Calling it "a bold and innovative roadmap," Fulton said, “The measure represents a win-win for the public as well as our industry by providing an affordable and logical approach toward enhancing air quality, improving fuel efficiency, and providing for less dependence on foreign energy.”

Fulton also said CMCA believes these efforts “have put Colorado in the forefront of states that are leading the way in the deployment of clean fuel trucks that will lower vehicle and engine manufacturing costs and lead us to a future where incentives may no longer needed due to a sustainable national market.”

According to the group, the legislation had widespread support. In addition to the trucking industry, a number of major business groups and companies, the natural gas industry, the environmental community, and the Governor's Energy Office supported the measure.

CMCA expects a bill signing ceremony with the governor later this month or next month.

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