On July 22, 2020

Vermont joins 15 states in agreement to electrify trucks and buses

Governor Phil Scott announced Tuesday, July 14, that Vermont has joined 15 states and the District of Columbia in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate electrification of the medium- and heavy-duty bus and truck market. The agreement calls for 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be zero emission vehicles by 2050.

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.

“This agreement is an important step forward in our ongoing commitment to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road in Vermont,” said Gov. Scott. “Electrifying buses and trucks while making the technology more affordable and accessible is key to meeting our state emissions goals, and this agreement will help move the market in this direction.”

The transportation sector accounts for 44% of Vermont’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up 14% of the on-road sector total. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles include large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, long-haul delivery trucks and school and transit buses. Nationally, truck emissions are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases and truck travel is expected to increase significantly in coming decades.

“The Agency has a significant number of medium and heavy-duty vehicles in our fleet. We know that transitioning our truck and bus fleets to run on clean electric power will be an important part of how we meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets. I am excited for the Agency to participate along with our sister agencies across the country,” said Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “We know this is going to be a challenge, but we look forward to leaning into this work, so we can build momentum and scale for this market transformation.”

Today, there are at least 70 electric truck and bus models on the market, with more new models expected over the next decade.

“Electrifying our trucks and buses is a critical step in achieving statewide emission reductions and protect public health in Vermont,” said Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Peter Walke. “Cars and trucks are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont. Entering into a collaborative agreement will help us significantly reduce these and other harmful emissions.”

This initiative builds on Vermont’s 2013 commitment to participate in the multi-state Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Task Force to electrify light-duty vehicles. The ZEV Task Force will provide the framework to help coordinate efforts to meet the goals of the MOU and develop and implement a ZEV action plan for trucks and buses. In addition, DEC launched Vermont’s Electric School and Transit Bus Pilot Program. Administered by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), the pilot program will evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of operating electric buses in Vermont and quantify the reduction in nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Findings will inform future electric bus purchases by Vermont school districts and transit agencies.

The MOU is facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). For more information, visit nescaum.org.

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