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Governors embrace zero-emission truck targets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fifteen American states and the District of Columbia are calling on all new trucks and buses to be zero-emission vehicles no later than 2050.

The Multi-State Zero Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Memorandum calls for 30% of new truck and bus sales to reach the emissions-related targets by 2030.

Signatories include California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Looking to foster a “self-sustaining market” for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the jurisdictions commit to developing an action plan in the next six months that will explore potential financial incentives for vehicles and infrastructure, plans for electric distribution systems, and measures to foster the use of electric trucks in densely populated areas.

They note that a push for zero-emission vehicles would especially help disadvantaged communities that historically face higher levels of pollution.

“Fossil fuel related emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are a major source of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter and toxic air emissions, which are preventing many densely populated areas from achieving compliance with federal ambient air quality standards,” the memorandum says.

“Emissions from MHDVs [medium- and heavy-duty vehicles] are a widely acknowledged, but unaddressed environmental justice problem that directly and disproportionately impacts disadvantaged communities located near freight corridors, ports and distribution centers.”

Many of the states have already adopted California’s zero-emission vehicle regulation and have committed to accelerate the adoption of light-duty electric vehicles, employing everything from financial incentives to charging infrastructure and education programs.

Several business leaders have already applauded the position.

“Transportation impacts our business, our customers and our supply chain every day,” said Steven Moelk, fulfillment project implementation manager at Ikea Retail U.S. “We are committed to driving a clean transportation future with 100% of our home deliveries made in zero emission vehicles by 2025. This MOU will help increase the availability of and access to medium-and heavy -duty electric vehicles which are essential to helping us achieve our goals.”

“As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, PepsiCo is working hard to mitigate our company’s climate impact by reducing our absolute GHG emissions across our value chain,” said PepsiCo vice-president of supply chain Mike O’Connell, noting that electric vehicles in its fleets have already recorded 19 million all-eletric kilometers.

Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S. noted that his fleet will run 70% of its first- and last-mile services on zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

“Transportation and logistics companies are an important part of the solution, and policies that support the uptake of electric and zero emission vehicles present a significant opportunity for companies and participating states,” he said.

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