Zero-emissions for U.S. heavy-duty vehicles by 2040

The United States intends to sell and manufacture zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses and tractor trailers by 2040, according to the United States energy secretary, who agreed at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt on Thursday.

The non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) calls for 30% of new vehicles, including commercial delivery vehicles, buses, and trucks, to be zero-emission by 2030, and 100% by 2040.

Tax policy bill for heavy-duty vehicles passed in August

To meet our clean energy targets, we must collaborate across oceans and borders, according to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

New commercial electric vehicle tax credits of up to $7,500 for light- and medium-duty vehicles and up to $40,000 for heavy-duty vehicles are included in the $430 billion climate, tax, and drug policy bill passed in August.

The funding, according to Granholm, will “drive technological innovation, lower vehicle costs, and reduce transportation emissions.”

Earlier this month, a group of 16 lawmakers led by Senator Martin Heinrich urged President Joe Biden to sign the agreement, noting that medium and heavy trucks account for 10% of vehicles but 28% of total on-road greenhouse gas emissions.

US Environmental Protection Agency to issue tougher emissions rules

Decarbonizing commercial transportation vehicles is critical to meeting our overall carbon emissions targets, according to Heinrich. By committing to this goal alongside many other countries, the United States demonstrates that we are serious about meeting our climate obligations and protecting our children’s future.

The memorandum, lawmakers said, “does not require US federal agencies to adopt new emission standards, targets, or requirements.”

The memorandum has already been signed by 16 countries and endorsed by over 60 state and local governments, manufacturers, financial institutions, and others, with more expected to sign.

According to Reuters, the US Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue tougher greenhouse gas emissions rules for heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles by the end of 2023, at least through the 2030 model year.

In March, the EPA proposed tighter standards for 17 of the 33 vocational and tractor-vehicle subcategories, including school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.