Energy & Environment

Oregon, Washington state panels approve transition to zero-emission vehicles

Cars are parked at an electric charging station in San Francisco, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. California is poised to required 100% of new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

State ecology and environmental panels in Oregon and Washington have approved plans to transition vehicles in their states to meet zero-emission standards by 2035. 

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted on Friday to require all new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to meet zero-emission standards, while the Washington Department of Ecology updated its Clean Vehicles Program to require all new, light-duty vehicles sold in the state to meet zero emissions by that year.

Both states are following California’s lead in moving toward zero-emission vehicles, adopting identical policies. The Clean Air Act allowed California to establish emissions standards that are stricter than national standards. 

Other states can also adopt stricter policies than the national standards, as long as they are identical to California’s. 

A release from the Oregon state government says that the rules build on regulations that have been in place since 2005 to lay the groundwork for automakers to produce zero-emission vehicles, which include full battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. 

The release states that the action will provide better air quality and enhance all state residents’ health. 

“With today’s adoption of the [Advanced Clean Cars] II Rule, all those living in Oregon will benefit from the cleaner air and improved public health outcomes achieved by reducing pollution from transportation,” said Leah Feldon, the interim director of the commission. 

A Washington state Department of Ecology release says most major automakers are already increasing their production of zero-emission vehicles, and some have committed to having 100 percent zero-emission vehicles for new car sales by 2035. 

The new rules will require automakers to start the shift toward zero-emission vehicles with model year 2026, gradually increasing the proportion until it reaches 100 percent in 2035. 

The standards will not apply to existing older, gas-powered vehicles.

Tags Oregon Washington state zero emission vehicles zero emissions

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