New Jersey, California and six other states recently agreed to jointly accelerate the use of zero-emission trucks and buses (ZEVs). This latest agreement mirrors an earlier one by 11 states to establish sales targets for zero-emission passenger vehicles.
The move is a direct reaction to the Trump Administration’s efforts to limit, rollback or undo California’s clean vehicle goals, which various other Cal-LEV states, like New Jersey, also must abide by. Because the federal government has jurisdiction over auto regulations, the Trump administration has withdrawn California’s Clean Air Act waiver to pursue stricter-than-federal standards.
Environmental officials in each of the eight states agreed to develop a memorandum of understanding by summer 2020 to “support and accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs. The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, or NESCAUM, will organize the MOU’s development.
California is currently developing a rule that would subject companies that sell more than 500 trucks per year to zero-emissions sales targets, starting at 3 percent in 2024 and ramping up to as high as 50 percent in 2030, depending on the size of the vehicle. It would last through 2030 and be accompanied by a “fleet rule” that would collect usage information from private fleets in preparation for a later regulation that would require them to buy ZEV trucks. California’s new rule would also require a Clean Air Act waiver, similar to the state’s existing waiver for its zero-emission vehicle requirement that the Trump administration revoked in September and California is challenging in the courts.