Action plan to eradicate toxic diesel emissions by 2050

If trucks and buses only account for 4 percent of vehicles on the road, why are fifteen states going after them? Because trucks are responsible for nearly 25 percent of total transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, 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.

While the Trump Administration is in the process of reversing 100 Environmental Rules, there are fifteen states and the District of Columbia announced a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU), committing to work collaboratively to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

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 includes large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks (big-rigs). The goal is to ensure that 100 percent of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2050 with an interim target of 30 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) says that the transportation sector is the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to unhealthy smog levels in many signatory states. Accelerating the electrification of trucks and buses is an essential step to achieve the deep economy-wide emission reductions needed to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and protect the health of millions of Americans.

“California is proud to be joined by 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a push for clean, zero-emission trucks,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Our efforts in California will be magnified through the efforts of this multi-state coalition to reduce emissions and improve air quality, especially crucial in communities where our most vulnerable citizens live. By working together, we can move toward a cleaner future.”

The MOU comes at an important transition point for the industry as an investment in zero-emission vehicle technology for the medium- and the heavy-duty sector continues to ramp up. Today, at least 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.

“The electric vehicle industry is primed for tremendous growth,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to place clean transportation technology and infrastructure at the center of the nation’s economic recovery.”

By 2030, the total cost of ownership for many common commercial vehicles is projected to reach parity with conventionally fueled vehicles.