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July 14, 2020 10:30 AM, EDT

15 States Agree to Work Together for All Heavy Trucks to Be Electric by 2050

Hyliion truckHyliion hybrid electric truck by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

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A total of 15 states and the District of Columbia have signed a joint memorandum of understanding committing to work collaboratively to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles.

The group’s goal is to ensure that 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty truck sales be composed of zero-emission vehicles by 2050, with an interim target of 30% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

“Each signatory state will report, within its available capabilities and on a schedule agreed to by the states, medium- and heavy-duty vehicle registration data needed to track progress toward meeting these targets,” the group said in a July 14 announcement.

Mhdv Zev Mou_7!14!20 by Transport Topics on Scribd

States signing the memo are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

The states will give consideration to needs ranging from financial vehicle and infrastructure incentives to addressing vehicle weight restrictions that are barriers to zero emissions in large trucks.

“Nationwide efforts to decarbonize freight transportation are moving at warp speed,” said Glen Kedzie, environmental affairs counsel for American Trucking Associations. “In what was merely considered a pipe dream 10 years ago, truck electrification is now looking more and more like the chosen technology future of freight movement. While our industry supports fleet choice in purchasing new equipment, we are concerned when companies are dictated as to how to make their capital expenditures.”

Ned Lamont

Now is the time to act regionally to protect the health of our residents and our climate by reducing emissions from medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont

“The MOU comes at an important transition point for the industry as investment in zero-emission vehicle technology for the medium- and heavy duty sector continues to ramp up,” the signers said in a joint statement. “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.”

They added, “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.”

“Now is the time to act regionally to protect the health of our residents and our climate by reducing emissions from medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with partner states through this agreement to leverage private sector ingenuity with smart public policy to transition to zero-emission vehicles.”

To provide a framework and help coordinate state efforts to meet these goals, the signatory jurisdictions will work through the existing multistate ZEV Task Force facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management to develop and implement a ZEV action plan for trucks and buses.

NESCAUM is a nonprofit association of air quality agencies in the Northeast. Its board of directors includes air directors of six New England states, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as New Jersey and New York.

NESCAUM provides scientific, technical, analytical and policy support to air quality programs.

The group’s schedule roughly follows a plan by the California Air Resources Board to by 2050 require that all trucks be electric.

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“California is proud to be joined by 15 other states and the District of Columbia in a push for clean, zero-emission trucks,” California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “Our efforts in California will be magnified through the efforts of this multistate 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.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says states must work together to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources.

“Reducing air pollution from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will result in cleaner air for our communities — including low-income neighborhoods and communities of color that are often disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution,” Seggos said in a statement.

“Today’s announcement bolsters New York’s ongoing efforts to electrify the transportation sector and reduce climate pollution, helping to realize our ambitious emissions reduction goals and grow a powerful green economy to benefit all communities.”

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