New EPA vehicle standards will help ensure the U.S. leads in the clean transportation future

The final emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will significantly reduce transportation-related pollution across the country and align federal policy with the priorities of leading businesses and investors that have long supported strong vehicle emission standards. 

The new EPA standards will encourage an accelerated shift to cleaner cars and trucks starting with Model Year 2027 and are projected to result in about two-thirds of new U.S. vehicle sales being zero-emission by 2032, delivering significant economic, climate, and public health benefits. 

“We applaud the finalized EPA standards that will help ensure the U.S. is on track to achieve its climate goals. Stronger vehicle emission standards will reduce pollution, save lives and improve air quality across the country, especially in communities located near highways and busy roads, and bring significant economic benefits,” said Michael Kodransky, senior director of transportation at Ceres. “These standards will position the U.S. to continue attracting investment to build and deploy clean vehicles and infrastructure with good-paying careers in communities across America. Going forward, Ceres is committed to working with the private sector, as well as state and federal policymakers, to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles in the clean transportation future.” 

“As corporate demand for zero-emission vehicle fleets increases across the U.S. economy and throughout supply chains, businesses and investors have emerged as strong supporters of EPA vehicle emissions standards that provide a clear and predictable path to a clean transportation system,” said Sara Forni, director of electric vehicles and the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance (CEVA) at Ceres. “The EPA’s new standards will provide that clarity, expand the availability of the electric models that companies need to meet their climate goals, and enable companies to successfully electrify their light- and medium-duty fleets while reducing fuel and maintenance costs.” 

“Tax credits and other strategic investments passed by Congress have sparked a private sector investment boom that is bringing manufacturing, supply chains, and jobs back to communities across the U.S.,” said Zach Friedman, director of federal policy, Ceres. “Strong vehicle standards provide U.S. businesses the certainty they need to accelerate the momentum toward an advanced and abundant clean energy future, ensure that the cost-saving technologies of growing domestic and global demand are built in the U.S., and benefit U.S. businesses, workers, communities, and consumers. The U.S. must compete and win in the global race to build the clean cars and trucks of today and tomorrow, and these standards are essential to building the necessary policy environment to maximize investment in America.” 

While the standards announced today do not meet the most aggressive timeline of the EPA’s original proposal, which Ceres supported, they represent an ambitious and durable advancement that meets the needs of manufacturers, fleet owners, workers, and consumers. The new standards will still dramatically reduce emissions from transportation, the nation’s leading source of climate pollution. 

As businesses increasingly seek clean vehicles to reduce pollution and lower fuel and maintenance costs, they have advocated for policies that support these goals, including stronger EPA emissions standards. Last year, more than 60 companies and investors — including Arapahoe Basin, Avocado Green Brands, Enel North America, Etsy, Friends Fiduciary Corporation, Hackensack Meridian Health, IKEA,  Lucid, Lyft, New Belgium Brewing, Nestlé, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Siemens, Snowsports Industries of America, Unilever,  and Zevin Asset Management — signed a letter to the EPA calling for robust standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles, as well as for heavy-duty vehicles. The EPA is expected to soon release its final standards for heavy-duty vehicle emissions as well. 

“Transportation is the largest source of [greenhouse gas] emissions in the U.S. and represents a substantial component of our companies’ and portfolios’ carbon footprint. By enacting strong vehicle emissions standards that require vehicle manufacturers to produce increasingly efficient and clean vehicles and drive the electrification of the sector, EPA will help ensure the availability of the vehicles needed by companies to cut operating costs, reduce emissions consistent with our climate goals, and support healthy communities for our customers and employees,” the signatories wrote in the letter organized by Ceres. 

The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, which is led by Ceres and made up of 33 businesses working to increase electric vehicle availability to scale companies’ clean fleets, also called on the EPA to pass the strongest possible vehicle emission standards. Businesses and investors have also been essential advocates for state policies to expand zero-emission vehicle sales, like the Advanced Clean Cars and Advanced Clean Trucks rules, and public policy to expand the availability of charging infrastructure across the country.  

Reducing emissions from the transportation sector is critical to the Ceres Ambition 2030 initiative, which aims to decarbonize six of the highest emitting sectors in the U.S.  

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