Colorado governor signs EV bill into law

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis this week signed into law a bill that will allow Rivian and other electric-vehicle makers to sell directly to consumers.

The law will let manufacturers that build only electric vehicles to own, operate or control dealerships, provided that they have no franchised dealerships in the state. It creates a path for Rivian and other EV startups to follow Tesla’s lead and sell their electric vehicles without operating a franchised dealership network.

The original version of the bill would have allowed any automaker that builds electric vehicles to sell them directly to consumers, a provision that also could have applied to legacy automakers with franchised dealerships. The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association opposed that language, arguing that it would force dealer-owned stores to compete directly with their brands.

Lawmakers passed the bill after negotiating a compromise with dealers in the state Senate that limited the scope to electric-only automakers.

The law will take effect at the end of the 90-day window following the Colorado General Assembly’s adjournment for the year, according to the bill language. That will be Aug. 5, if the legislature adjourns May 6.