May 16, 2019

Harris, Colleagues Introduce Major Legislation to Transition America to 100% Zero-Emission Vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Wednesday joined Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Mike Levin (D-CA-49), along with 5 of their colleagues, in introducing the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2019, which presents a bold plan for transitioning the United States to 100% zero-emission vehicles.

This plan will position the United States to lead the world in vehicle innovation, tackle climate chaos, and reduce asthma attacks and premature deaths caused by the pollution gasoline engines produce. According to a 2016 report issued by the American Lung Association, transitioning to zero-emission vehicles would deliver $33 billion in total health and climate savings by 2050. The 90% reduction in the pollution that causes smog and soot would translate to 195,000 fewer lost workdays, 96,000 fewer asthma attacks, and 2,200 fewer premature deaths.

“Every American deserves the ability to breathe clean air and drink clean water, and it’s past time for the United States to put forward ambitious policies to combat climate change that will clean our air and preserve our environment for future generations,” said Harris. “California has led the way on this issue and should serve as a model for the rest of the country. We’re facing a climate crisis that must be met with bold action.”

The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act would set a Federal Zero-Emissions Vehicle standard to boost the market for battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The standard would require that by 2030, 50% of sales for new passenger vehicles are ZEVs, and ramp up 5% each year to 100% by 2040. The ZEV standard is only applied to the sale of new passenger cars.

In addition to Harris, Merkley, and Levin the legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) in the Senate, and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) in the House.

A copy of the Zero Emission Vehicles Act of 2019 can be found here.