Today, 15 states and the District of Columbia announced a joint memorandum of understanding so that 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero emission vehicles by 2050, with an interim target of 30% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.
While trucks and buses only account for 4% of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for ~25% of total transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. Included in the sweeping reform are large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks (big-rigs).
States signing the MOU are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The MOU if enacted could slash harmful diesel emissions and cut carbon pollution that cause global warming. The transportation sector is the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. It also contributes to unhealthy levels of smog in many of the signatory states.
Accelerating the electrification of trucks and buses is key to achieving the deep economy-wide emission reductions needed to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and protect the health of millions of Americans. In fact, CARB noted that emissions from trucks are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, and the number of truck miles traveled on the nation’s roads is forecast to continue to grow significantly in the coming decades.
Truck and bus electrification also guarantee wide-spread health benefits, particularly in communities with heavy truck traffic that are burdened with higher levels of air pollution. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are a major source of harmful smog-forming pollution, particulate matter, and air toxics. These emissions disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color often located near major trucking corridors, ports, and distribution hubs.
The MOU comes at a transition point for the industry as investment in zero emission vehicle technology for the medium- and heavy-duty sector continues increase in the signatories’ view. Roughly 70 electric truck and bus models are on the market, and manufacturers are expected to make many more new models commercially available over the next decade.
Apart from the public health benefits and avoided health care costs zero emission trucks and buses provide, by 2030, the total cost of ownership for many common commercial vehicles is projected to reach parity with conventionally fueled vehicles.
To provide a framework and help coordinate state efforts to meet these goals, the signatory jurisdictions will work through the existing multi-state ZEV Task Force facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) to develop and implement a ZEV action plan for trucks and buses.
By promoting and investing in electric trucks and buses and the charging and fueling infrastructure needed to serve these vehicles, the signatory jurisdictions will support job creation, and help to build a resilient and clean economy, they said.
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