New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, sign multi-state electric vehicle agreement

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Passengers board an electric bus

In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo,
Commuters ride a new zero-emission electric bus in California in 2018.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, 12 other states, and Washington D.C. have signed on to accelerate the process of converting buses and trucks to electric power. The agreement calls for all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on the market to be zero-emission by 2050.

The initiative to slash toxic diesel emissions and cut carbon pollution will support the creation of new jobs while building a resilient and clean economy.

“Reducing pollution from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will result in cleaner air for New Yorkers, particularly low-income neighborhoods and communities of color that have historically and disproportionately borne the brunt of the worst environmental consequences,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Low-income communities are the ones most often located near major trucking corridors, ports, and distribution hubs.

Nationally, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse emissions, and truck emissions are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, with truck travel expected to grow significantly in coming decades. Other states in the agreement are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington state.

“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,” said Vermont Transportation Agency 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.”

According to Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s office, there are at least 70 electric truck and bus models on the market today, with more new models incoming over the next decade.

The agreement includes large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks, or big rigs. The goal is ensuring 100% by 2050, with an interim target of 30% zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

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