Cooper Order Boosts Electric Vehicles

Governor Roy Cooper last week issued a new executive order intended to accelerate North Carolina’s transition to zero-emission vans, trucks, and buses. Executive Order 271 was issued October 25.

The Order includes provisions:

  • directing the Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to prepare a draft rule for an Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) program. The ACT program would require truck manufacturers to gradually grow the share of their medium and heavy-duty (MHD) truck sales consisting of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), with the goal of reaching 100% of sales by 2050;
  • directing state departments in the pursuit of increasing their own use of vans, trucks, and buses which are zero-emission vehicles; and
  • directing state agencies to pursue and distribute available federal and state funding for strategies which will support growth of the ZEV market, such as “charging infrastructure, vehicle purchase incentives, workforce development, demonstration projects, technical assistance, and increased monitoring of mobile source air pollution.”

“Today’s action moves North Carolina closer to a clean transportation economy that will benefit communities across the state,” said state Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “Increasing the use of zero-emission vehicles will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advance environmental justice and create good jobs tied to clean transportation.” 

A blog post by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) laid out details of the economic and environmental benefits that can be expected from implementing executive order 271. Other environmental advocates praised the order as well. “Governor Cooper’s executive order directing DEQ to craft an Advanced Clean Trucks program for North Carolina is an important, forward-thinking step to address climate change, the health of our communities, and environmental justice,” said Kym Meyer, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Reducing the pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks that poisons the air we breathe in North Carolina and contributes to climate change is essential to protecting people’s health and our communities. We are thrilled to see North Carolina leading the national transition to cleaner and more affordable vehicles. The move will more quickly benefit North Carolinians with more vehicle choices in the marketplace, less volatile fuel prices, and cleaner, healthier air.”

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