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Electric-vehicle push slows as Colorado Legislature rejects bill to allow sales without dealers

Ed Sealover
Electric-vehicle push slows as Colorado Legislature rejects bill to allow sales without dealers

The session-long push from Gov. Jared Polis and legislative Democrats to make it easier for Coloradans to buy and use electric vehicles hit its first major speed bump Wednesday, as the House voted to kill a measure that would have allowed electric-vehicle manufacturers to bypass the state’s long-standing dealership regulations and sell their cars and trucks directly to the public. The surprising death of the bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Chris Hansen of Denver and Republican Rep. Hugh McKean of Loveland, came just minutes after the House — on a fully partisan, Democratic-led vote — increased and extended through 2025 tax credits offered by the state for electric, plug-in electric and hydrogen vehicles that had been scheduled to end after 2021. HB 1325 split electric-vehicle advocates in the Legislature, however, because it was seen as a threat to dealerships across Colorado, which have operated since 1937 under franchise rules that require auto makers to sell vehicles through them rather than straight to the public and limit the demands that can be made on the local businesses from national and international auto manufacturers.