More States Move to Adopt California’s Vehicle Emissions Rules

by | Sep 26, 2019

More States Move to Adopt California’s Vehicle Emissions Rules

The governors of Minnesota and New Mexico say their states plan to adopt California’s vehicle emissions rules. This brings the number of states planning to follow California’s tougher tailpipe standards and zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate to more than a dozen.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Tuesday that her state will adopt stricter vehicle emissions standards by the end of 2019, according to the Albuquerque Journal. On Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said his state also planned to follow California’s lead, but added that writing regulations would take at least 15 months, David Shepardson reported in Reuters.

“California’s vehicle emissions rules, more stringent than the Trump EPA’s rules, are currently followed by states that account for more than 40% of U.S. vehicle sales,” Shepardson wrote.

The clash between California and the federal government over vehicle emissions rules has been escalating for months. Over the summer, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda signed the California Air Resources Board’s voluntary agreement. Last week Trump administration officials from the EPA and DOT said they are revoking California’s authority to set auto emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.

Then a group of 23 states including New Mexico and Minnesota — along with two cities and the District of Columbia — sued the federal government, Dana Ferguson reported for the Duluth News Tribune. They argue that states should have the right to set their own vehicle tailpipe emissions, she wrote.

Vehicle emissions rules alone may not tip the scales in favor of widespread electric vehicle adoption, though.

A spokesperson for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents automakers that build 70% of the vehicles sold in the US, cautioned that states adopting the California zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate must also offer incentives such as tax credits and carpool lane privileges, and invest in a vehicle charging infrastructure, Automotive News reported.

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