WA & OR strengthen vehicle electrification on the West Coast

Kate White Tudor of White Tudor LLC is a contributing author of this blog and represents the NRDC in Washington State.

The adoption of the Clean Trucks program in Oregon and the Advanced Clean Trucks and Zero Emission Vehicle programs in Washington consolidates the West Coast as one of the largest markets in the world for electric vehicles.

The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the United States and a significant source of harmful air pollution. By adopting the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule and the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, Washington and Oregon help the west coast – the 5e biggest economy in the world if it was a nation – chart a new course for the United States to electrify medium and heavy trucks as well as passenger vehicles.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the electrification of trucks save lives reducing the harmful pollution from tailpipes that plague communities near highways, warehouses, rail yards and ports. People of color, including black, Latin American and Asian populations, experience a excessive load air pollution from transport.

Vehicle Emission Standards Accelerate Electric Vehicle Market and Eliminate Transportation Pollution

ACT rule requires truck manufacturers to sell increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles in Washington and Oregon, reaching 55% of new Class 2b-3 trucks, 75% of new Class 4 trucks -8 and 40% of new class 7 trucks -8 tractors by 2035. At the same time, the ZEV program obliges manufacturers to sell an increasing number of electric passenger vehicles. Sixteen states, including Oregon, have already adopted standards based on California’s Advanced Clean Cars program to reduce smog, soot and climate pollution, and more are in the process of doing so.

Replacing dirty fossil fuel vehicles with clean electric vehicles (EVs) will help reduce asthma, bronchitis, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and other pollution-related diseases. Two studies by MJ Bradley & Associates, commissioned by the NRDC and the Union of Concerned Scientists, found that adopting the ACT rule will reduce Washington’s the annual emissions of nitrogen oxides from trucks by 47% and particulate pollution by 43% compared to the baseline scenario and 49% and 50% respectively in Oregon by 2050. The benefits for public health are immense. By 2050, Washington is expected to prevent nearly 70,000 respiratory cases, nearly 100 hospital visits and 114 premature deaths. Meanwhile, Oregon is expected to prevent more than 43,000 respiratory cases, more than 60 hospital visits and nearly 80 premature deaths by 2050. Improving public health accounts for more than 1.3 billion dollars. dollars in monetized profits for Washington and $ 927 million for Oregon through 2050.

Connect with regional and national dynamics

On the west coast, Washington and Oregon are partnering with California to electrify transportation and clean up air pollution along Mexico’s I-5 corridor to Canada and through regional road networks. As a result, residents of the tri-state can expect to see an increasing number of electric cars and trucks on the roads and for sale in the coming years as manufacturers increase the supply of electric vehicles to meet demands. of sales set by the new rules.

These states are also joining a growing national and international movement to electrify transportation. Recently, President Biden ordered the United States to electrify at least half of all new cars by 2030, and more than thirty governments around the world have committed to zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035.

Good for people and the economy

Clean medium and heavy utility vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from delivery vans and garbage trucks to semi-trailers and everything in between. Washington recently deployed to 40 electric school buses reduce children’s exposure to diesel particulates and smog-forming pollutants. Meanwhile, fleet owners are lining up to order electric trucks due to an attractive economy over fossil fuel vehicles thanks to significant savings in fuel and maintenance costs. For example, Amazon bought its first 10,000 of 100,000 all-electric delivery vans for 2022 from Rivian, an electric truck maker.

Business leaders Up and down the West Coast have seized the economic opportunities offered by the electrification of transportation. Industry stakeholders understand that electric trucks will reduce the costs of owning fleets, create new manufacturing jobs by developing electric vehicle technology, and force electricians and contractors to design and install chargers. of electric vehicles.

Complementary policies are always needed

The ACT rule and the ZEV program have put Washington on the path to electrifying transportation, but more is needed. Washington must now adopt the heavy-duty omnibus rule, which requires truck makers and others to produce diesel trucks 90% cleaner when fully implemented. California approved the rule in 2020 and Oregon recently adopted it alongside the ACT rule. Washington is well positioned to pass these air quality regulations that are expected to rack up an additional $ 1.5 billion in state public health benefits by 2050.

Washington should also follow Oregon’s lead and adopt California’s fleet declaration obligation collect operational data from fleets or entities that ship or own a large number of medium and heavy vehicles. The information collected can help identify the best truck segments for electrification, inform future regulations and incentives, and help target investments in utility infrastructure.

Additionally, understanding industry business practices is essential to avoid abusive labor practices, such as misclassifying drivers as independent contractors. Due to misclassification, many drivers lack the financial resources to upgrade their equipment to reduce diesel pollution or purchase a zero-emission truck. Washington will need the most granular information possible to ensure that the entities that control the fleets are meeting emission reduction and electrification targets rather than shifting responsibility to drivers who often do not have the resources to comply. .

Finally, Washington and Oregon will have the option to update the zero emission vehicle program with other clean car states once standards for model year 2026 and beyond are developed. This will bring the state even closer to a more affordable and pollution-free future.

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