Colorado will give you $6K for your old gas-guzzler starting this week

· Aug. 29, 2023, 6:30 am
ev-electric-vehicle-charging-station-larimer-county-287-20230713ev-electric-vehicle-charging-station-larimer-county-287-20230713Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
An EV charging station along a rural stretch of Highway 287 near Livermore in Larimer County, July 2023.

The state of Colorado will launch a vehicle exchange program on Thursday that will pay participants thousands of dollars in return for dumping their old gas- or diesel-powered cars. 

Vehicle Exchange Colorado participants will receive point-of-sale rebates of $6,000 toward the purchase or lease of a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle or $4,000 in discounts for a used one. 

“This is a program that is very much designed to help recycle and replace those older high-emitting vehicles with electric vehicles,” said Edward Piersa, program manager at the Colorado Energy Office.

The program is limited to residents who are enrolled in certain income-qualified programs or have incomes at or below 80 percent of their area median income. That changes by county and equates to $69,520 for a single-person household in Denver County or $48,720 in Mesa County, for example.

“In part due to cost, many low- to moderate-income people in Colorado have not had access to electric vehicles. This program will help bridge that gap,” Piersa said.

State-level tax data in Colorado showed that more than 80 percent of the 12,000 households that received a state EV tax credit from 2017 to 2020 reported an annual income of more than $100,000 a year. 

About 70 dealerships across Colorado have pre-registered with the state to participate in the program, Piersa said. 

If you or someone you know qualifies for every possible program, let us know at [email protected]. CPR News wants to follow a customer through the car-buying experience to learn about how well the process works.

Trade-in gas- or diesel-powered vehicles must be at least 12 years old or fail an emissions test to be eligible for the rebate. The rebates join a suite of planned and upcoming incentives from the federal government, the state government and Xcel Energy, which could add up to $26,500 at some point next year. The state has a goal of putting 940,000 electric vehicles on the roads by 2030.

“We are at approximately 90,000 electric vehicles on the road today. So there is significant progress that we are looking to make here,” Piersa said of the $1.8 million program.

Each incentive comes with its own rules and restrictions that make it difficult to qualify for every discount.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the timing of other EV rebate programs.

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