Clean Transportation

An Initiative of the U.S. Climate Alliance

│ Driving towards a carbon neutral future

The transportation sector has exceeded the power sector as our nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.  Transportation is also our largest contributor of harmful air pollution.  As market forces drive down the cost of renewable energy and expand access to affordable clean power to an increasingly larger share of Americans, transportation is the next frontier for innovation and transformational change.  To make this happen, we need to create a new visionary landscape – one where we shrink the fleet and power it with clean energy. By shifting towards zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) such as battery electric, plug in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, investing in robust transit, and working to reduce vehicle miles travelled, we can dramatically reduce our carbon pollution, create jobs and protect the health of our communities. 

Coordinated state action is needed to transform our transportation sector, and U.S. Climate Alliance states are well positioned to continue driving America towards a low-carbon future.  Most Alliance states are members of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, and already the Alliance accounts for over 70% of all battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles sold nation-wide last year, and we have over 587,000  ZEVs on our roads.  But we’re just getting started, and the Alliance is committed taking its clean transportation efforts to the next level.

│ State Leadership to Date

U.S. Climate Alliance states are at the forefront of the transition to ZEVs:

  • California’s Governor Brown signed an executive order to achieve a new target of 5 million ZEVs in California by 2030, and will help significantly expand vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure.

  • Colorado Governor Hickenlooper's 2017 executive order on clean energy resulted in a statewide EV Plan providing a roadmap for the build out of a fast-charging network enabling EV travel anywhere in the state and a grant program for that network.  The order also supports an 8 state MOU called REV West to create an Intermountain West EV corridor.

  • Delaware offers rebates for electric vehicles and charging stations. Since the start of the program in 2015, over 1,000 rebates have been provided to Delawareans, reducing carbon emissions by almost 2,500 tons of CO2 annually.

  • Minnesota with four other states in the Mid-West established the first signed ZEV highway on I-94, and eleven states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are cooperating on regional EV corridors and exploring whether to create a carbon market for the transportation sector.

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is committed to increasing public EV charging infrastructure five-fold between 2018 and 2021, including substantial public investment in charging capacity on the Thruway and other highways.  New York’s consumer and municipal rebate programs contributed to a 70% increase in EV sales in 2017.

  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80 mandating the development of a state-wide ZEV Plan designed to increase the number of ZEVs to 80,000 by 2025, and requires cabinet agencies to prioritize ZEVs for purchases and leasing.

  • Washington, Oregon and California are part of the West Coast Electric Highway—a series of publicly accessible charging stations from BC to BC (British Columbia to Baja California) that, within just a few months, displaced 13,500 gallons of gasoline.

│ U.S. Climate Alliance Collaboration

Alliance States are working together to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission vehicles as fast as possible.  Together, they are exploring how to support consumer interest in ZEVs, including through incentives, expanding ZEV charging or refueling stations, and removing government barriers.  The Volkswagen settlement funds to reduce NOx and GHG emissions is also an opportunity Climate Alliance states are exploring to coordinate investments that promote ZEVs.  The U.S. Climate Alliance is also considering rules and requirements that reduce carbon emissions from transportation, as well as partnering directly with OEM’s to advance ZEV market penetration and education.

U.S. Climate Alliance states also stand united in their opposition to the federal weakening of vehicle emission standards and are working together to advance the economic, environmental and public health benefits of cleaner cars.