Call to Action: Share Your Support for Clean Cars and Trucks in Vermont!
Transportation is the largest contributor to climate pollution in Vermont, accounting for roughly 40% of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and for the sake of people, planet, and prosperity we need to move swiftly to decarbonize it. We here at VBSR envision a future where light-, medium-, and heavy-duty EVs are widely available to meet all of Vermont’s commercial, professional, and recreational needs and at a price that’s competitive with traditional internal combustion vehicles. But we need your help to bring that vision to fruition.
In 2019 alone, Vermonters spent roughly $1 billion on transportation fuels and, of that total, 77% left the state’s economy. Electricity, on the other hand, keeps 62 cents per dollar in Vermont’s economy. If we’re going to stem the flow of transportation dollars out of the state that means we’ll need to “buy local” when it comes to our transportation needs.
To help address this challenge, the Vermont Climate Action Plan calls for the state to adopt requirements for zero-emission car and truck sales by the end of this year—namely the Advanced Clean Cars II and the Advance Clean Truck Rules.
Advanced Clear Cars II
Vermont first adopted California’s Motor Vehicles Emission Standards, better known as Advanced Clean Cars (ACC), in the early 2000s and since then the program has been a critical tool in driving innovation and bolstering access to cleaner vehicles across the state. These programs are applied directly to vehicle manufacturers and require them to expedite the development and deployment of clean, efficient vehicles to meet market demands.
To help meet their climate commitments and meet growing public demand, many states are now updating these regulations to require vehicle manufacturers to deliver even more lower- and no-emitting vehicles. In California, policymakers are creating new requirements for zero-emission car sales through the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) rule. Building on the successes of the initial standard, ACCII would require auto manufacturers to meet stricter emissions requirements and to steadily increase the annual percentage of EVs available in Vermont reaching 100% of all cars and light trucks by 2035.
Advanced Clean Trucks
The Advanced Clean Trucks Rule (ACT) is a new program recently adopted by California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and other states that requires auto manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks between model years 2024 and 2035. Like ACCII, Advanced Clean Trucks does not require fleet owners or truck operators to purchase EVs, but rather it requires medium and heavy duty truck manufacturers to make them readily available in Vermont.
Under this new regulatory scheme, zero-emission truck sales would need to make up 55% of Class 2b – 3 truck (F-350, multi passenger vans) sales; 75% of Class 4 – 8 truck (school buses, dump trucks) sales; and 40% of tractor trailer sales by model year 2035.
Vermont has already committed to supporting the widespread adoption of electric cars and trucks, help us make good on that promise by sharing your support for the AACII and ACT Rules at one of the following public hearings hosted by VTrans:
- Manchester: 9/7/22 6:00 pm Park House, 340 Rec Park Road
- Newport: 9/8/22 6:00 pm Gateway Center, First Floor, 84 Fyfe Drive
- Burlington: 9/14/22 6:00 pm Burlington Old North End (O.N.E.) Community Center 20 Allen St
- Bellows Falls: 9/15/22 6:00 pm Bellows Falls Opera House, Lower Theatre, 7 Square
- Barre: 9/21/22 5:00 pm Aldrich Public Library, Milne Room, 6 Washington Street
- Virtual: 9/23/22 12:00 pm
With sweeping programs like the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) on hold, AACII and ACT are the most impactful near-term opportunities to meaningfully reduce emissions from our transportation sector, so please share this information far and wide with your employees, customers, and peers. As always, if you have any questions or would like help crafting your comments please don’t hesitate to reach out to VBSR Public Policy Manager, Jordan Giaconia at Jordang@vbsr.org.
What can clean transportation do for Vermont?
Looking for some creative ways to share why you support a clean transportation future in Vermont, here are some helpful talking points!
- Transportation is key part of Vermont’s economy and our overall way of life but it is also our largest source of climate pollution, accounting for roughly 40% of our state’s total emissions.
- Vermonters drive more than any other state in the region. The rural character of our state combined with dispersed development patterns puts Vermont’s per capita annual vehicle miles traveled (VMT) at 11,773 miles as of 2019 — that’s higher than any other state in the region and well above the national average as well.
- 94% of our transportation is powered by fossil fuels — this is primarily made up of light duty gas powered vehicles (71%) and heavy duty diesel vehicles (11%.)
- Clean transportation keep more dollars flowing in our local economies. In 2019 alone, Vermonters spent roughly $1 billion on transportation fuels. Of that total, 77% left the state’s economy. Electricity on the other hand keeps .62 cents per dollar in Vermont’s economy. VBSR has long promoted “buying local” and it’s high time we do so when it comes to our transportation costs.
- Clean transportation can also support a more equitable economy. Lower income Vermonters spend a much higher share of their income on transportation fuels — especially in rural areas. Meanwhile people of color and low-income communities shoulder more pollution from cars, buses, and trucks.
- Driving electric vehicles instead of gasoline vehicles can save rural Vermont drivers, on average, up to $1,500 per year on operational and maintenance costs. It is estimated that, by 2050, a cleaner transportation system could net Vermont over $73 million in value from avoided premature deaths, asthma attacks and work days lost.
- Providing more transportation options can also protect jobs and bolster economic mobility. Roughly 7% of Vermont households do not have access to a car. Lack of access to transportation options can reduce employment and education opportunities and make it harder to get to grocery stores, social events, and medical appointments — especially for older, disabled, and/or low-income Vermonters.