Annapolis, MD: Ceres and CALSTART join major companies with employees and operations in Maryland to applaud the General Assembly and the Moore administration for adopting legislation that will accelerate the growth of clean trucks, vans, and other large commercial vehicles.
The Clean Trucks Act of 2023, sponsored by Sen. Malcolm Augustine and Del. Sara Love, was passed by the Maryland General Assembly last week and signed by Governor Moore today. The bill directs the state to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, which requires manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to grow sales of zero-emission models by an increasing rate over time in the states where the policy is adopted.
Leading companies are increasingly purchasing clean trucks and vans to help meet their climate and pollution goals and to save on fuel and maintenance costs, but there is limited availability of zero-emission vehicle models that meet the needs of the companies. The ACT rule is designed to dramatically increase the sales and development of the technology by driving bulk production that will lower costs for both manufacturers and purchasers.
“IKEA is committed to 100% zero emissions home deliveries by 2025. As we drive toward our vision for a clean transportation future, we need smart policies to help accelerate the availability of and access to medium-and heavy -duty electric vehicles,” said Steve Moelk, fulfillment project implementation manager, at IKEA Retail U.S. “The ACT rule is vital to helping Maryland companies meet our climate goals to move away from dirty deliveries and toward a cleaner and more just economy.”
“The transition to electric fleets is beginning to take shape. State policies like the ACT rule create a foundation for an electrified future – one where a diverse array of electric vehicles are driving on our nation’s roads and a robust charging network is built out from coast to coast,” said Ryan Dalton, head of external affairs and policy, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, at Siemens. “By adopting the ACT rule, Maryland will establish itself as a leader in America’s green economy – producing lower carbon emissions and less pollution — all while creating equitable economic benefits for its communities.”
“BYD, The Official Sponsor of Mother Nature, applauds the state of Maryland, Delegate Sara Love, Senator Malcolm Augustine, and Governor Moore for Maryland’s substantial commitment to clean air and the environment,” said Frank Girardot, senior director of communications at BYD. “Adoption of the ACT rule will be immediately positive in communities where it matters most, but the entire state will benefit from the outcome.”
“Proterra applauds Maryland’s leadership in driving towards a sustainable, zero-emission transportation future,” said Chris Bailey, chief business officer at Proterra. “Heavy-duty trucks and buses are the workhorses of our economy but disproportionately contribute to the pollution that threatens clean air and public health. Transitioning to zero-emission, heavy-duty vehicles is an opportunity to protect the health of Maryland communities while advancing American technology and innovation.”
IKEA, Siemens, BYD, and Proterra are among more than 85 major companies, employers, and investors that signed a letter urging governors across the country to adopt the ACT rule.
“Increased access to cost-effective zero-emission commercial vehicles across states will allow us to remain competitive in a market where our customers, investors, patients, and employees increasingly expect us to lead on sustainability,” the companies wrote in the letter. “A growing number of clean vehicles offer significant cost savings through lower fuel and maintenance costs, and reduce the risk associated with the volatility of fossil fuel prices and supply.”
When the policy is fully adopted, Maryland will join eight other states in approving the ACT rule: California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. North Carolina is also in the process of adopting the rule. Supporters of the policy say it will have a greater impact as more states join in by setting high standards across regional markets. The market growth would also help spark a large-scale buildout of much-needed vehicle charging infrastructure.
The policy is also critical to reducing climate pollution from freight, delivery, and other commercial uses. Transportation is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., which warm the planet and fuel heat waves, drought, and storms. Although they represent just 5% of vehicles on U.S. roads and account for just 10% of all miles driven, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for nearly a quarter of pollution from the nation’s transportation sector. This pollution disproportionately impacts neighborhoods that border highways, major roads, and shipping centers, and are often lower-income communities and communities of color.
“With today’s decision, Maryland is leading the way to a more sustainable transportation system. While there is much more work to be done to reduce emissions in frontline communities, adopting the ACT rule is a good first step,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior director, state policy, at Ceres. “We hope today’s decision will drive adoption in additional states so that communities across the country can reap the major climate, public health, and business benefits of this technology.”
“The ACT rule is a critical precondition for a smooth transition to a zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty market,” said Alissa Burger, Regional Policy Director at CALSTART. “It will also go a long way toward advancing Maryland’s climate objectives for net-zero greenhouse gas emission reductions, improving air quality, and providing high-quality jobs for Marylanders. CALSTART congratulates Maryland in its achievement and leadership in moving to reduce diesel emissions from trucks across its communities.”
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies, and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
A nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, California and central Europe and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 300+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry. We overcome barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.