Dozens of major companies, employers, and investors — including several significant fleet operators — urged governors across the country to accelerate the growth of clean trucks, vans, and other large commercial vehicles, arguing in a letter released today that the technology will be good for both the climate and business operations.
The signatories — which include IKEA, Nestlé, Siemens, and Unilever — are calling on states to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule. The ACT rule 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.
Companies are increasingly demanding clean trucks and vans to help them meet their climate and pollution goals, and to save on the costs of fuel and maintenance. 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.
“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.”
The ACT rule has already been adopted in California, and 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 letter calls for states across the country, including several actively considering the rule, to finalize and adopt it.
“Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are an essential part of the logistics networks that millions of Etsy sellers rely upon to deliver items to their buyers around the world, but these vehicles contribute disproportionately to air pollution and global warming emissions within the transportation sector,” said Chelsey Evans, Senior Manager of Sustainability, Etsy. “Widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles, including through the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, is key to combating climate change and is directly linked to Etsy’s long standing efforts to reduce the carbon impact of the logistics sector.”
“Nestlé strongly encourages the nation’s governors to adopt the ACT rule and dramatically expand the market for zero-emission commercial vehicles,” said Megan Villarreal, manager of policy and public affairs, Nestlé. “Companies like ours know we must electrify our supply chains. Cleaning up freight and delivery services at the scale necessary to tackle our public health and the climate challenges requires strong state and federal policies. The ACT rule will help us and those in our supply chain meet this challenge, while building out the trucking industry of the future.”
“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, IKEA Retail U.S. “The ACT rule is vital to helping companies meet our climate goals to move away from dirty deliveries and toward a cleaner and more just economy.”
“More and more, companies are beginning to make the shift to electric fleets and want policies put in place that will make this transition easier,” said Chris King, senior vice president, Siemens eMobility. “The ACT rule will expand the market and help get a more diverse array of electric vehicles on our nation’s roads. By adopting the ACT rule, states can establish themselves and the companies that do businesses on their roads as clean transportation leaders—while also bringing health and equitable economic benefits to their communities.”
“As a craft brewer with distribution channels across the U.S., New Belgium Brewing strongly supports the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, and we are grateful that the Polis Administration has continued to lead the way on clean air through clean trucks in Colorado,” said Katie Wallace, director of social and environmental impact, New Belgium Brewing Co. “The ACT will help us achieve our goal of operating a clean fleet close to home in Colorado, and help our partners across the country transition to zero-emission trucks that will clean the air, reduce climate pollution, and continue to efficiently move the supplies we need and the beer our customers love.”
“As the largest employer in a mountain community, we depend on trucking deliveries. But we also rely on snowy winters for our recreation-based economy and way of life,” said Hannah Berman, senior manager, sustainability and philanthropy, Aspen Skiing Company. “So we support the ACT rule to ensure our community’s needs are met, while protecting our winters from the worst impacts of climate change.”
Supporters of the ACT rule say it would significantly expand clean truck sales across the country, with greater results as more states adopt the policy. The market growth would also help spark a large-scale buildout of much-needed vehicle charging infrastructure.
The rule sets increasing benchmarks for sales that differ by vehicle class, based on technology readiness. For example, under the rule, some vehicle classes would be required to achieve 75% zero-emission sales by 2035. Tractor trailers, also known as semi-trucks, would have a target of 40% sales by that time.
The policy is critical to reducing climate pollution from freight, delivery, and other commercial uses. Transportation is the leading cause in the U.S. of greenhouse gas emissions, 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.
Trucks are also responsible for high shares of other toxic pollutants that cause serious health issues, including heart and respiratory diseases. These effects disproportionately impact neighborhoods that border highways, major roads, and shipping centers, and are often lower-income communities and communities of color.
“Improving air quality is not only the right thing to do for public health and for these communities, it also makes economic sense,” the signatories said in the letter.
The letter comes as officials in several states, including Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Colorado, consider the ACT rule as a strategy to achieve climate and transportation goals.
“Reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions from the transportation sector is an essential part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s strategy to achieve the Commonwealth’s ambitious goal of Net Zero by 2050, and to do so we will need to significantly increase the number of clean trucks in vehicle fleets throughout Massachusetts,” said Kathleen Theoharides, Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “To drive the market for medium-to-heavy duty electric vehicles forward, the Administration has signed a memorandum of understanding with 14 other states and the District of Columbia to pursue new policies that will help both our companies and our communities benefit from reliable, high-performing, and clean commercial trucks and vans.”
The letter was organized by Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit that works with companies and investors to drive action and equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future.
“Companies want clean vehicles for their supply chains because they understand the major climate, public health, and business benefits of this technology,” said Alli Gold Roberts, director of state policy, Ceres. “Many are already taking steps to turnover their fleets, but they need leading states to adopt strong policies to get this technology on the road at the scale and scope necessary to take on the climate crisis. Businesses are calling on governors across the country to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks rule to build a more sustainable and equitable transportation system for all.”