In October 2020, the US House and Senate introduced the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2020 — companion bills that would require that all new passenger vehicles sold in the US be zero-emissions vehicles (electric or hydrogen powered) by 2035.
US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Senate’s Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Act. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the House version, alongside Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Chellie Pingree (D-ME).
This bill would require that 50% of all new passenger vehicles sold in the US in 2025 are ZEVs. The requirement would ramp up 5% each year, to 100% of new vehicle sales by 2035. With 100% of new car sales being ZEVs in 2035, the vast majority of used cars would be ZEVs by 2045.
This legislation will provide certainty of a guaranteed market for electric vehicles by 2035, incentivizing automakers to invest in new makes and models of electric cars. It will spur governments and utilities to finance and build the necessary fueling infrastructure and grid upgrades. It will cut financing for new pipelines and oil drilling, and provide myriad other benefits.
What To Do:
Here’s a sample telephone script or letter:
Dear Senator/Representative _________,
This is to urge you to co-sponsor the Zero-Emission Vehicle Act. This bill would require all new car sales in the US to be zero-emissions vehicles starting in 2035. We are in a climate crisis. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have just 10 years to make drastic reductions in carbon emissions to avoid the worst impacts of this crisis. Gasoline is the biggest source of carbon emissions and air pollution. Making a complete shift away from gasoline to clean alternatives is critical to avert climate disaster and cut rates of asthma, cancers, dementia and other health impacts of car exhaust.
More than a dozen other countries have already announced plans to phase out sales of gasoline vehicles. The US needs to keep up to stay competitive. We can’t afford to wait and see if the free market moves us to clean alternatives. Like with seat belts, airbags and catalytic converters, we need government action to ensure the end of gasoline era as soon as possible. Thanks for letting me know if you will support the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act.
Call on state and federal governments to ensure that, by 2030 or sooner, all new passenger vehicle sold are clean, zero emissions vehicles, not gasoline/diesel vehicles. (We’ll deliver it to the appropriate parties.)
Your dollars will help Coltura grow the campaign to pass clean cars legislation.