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June 18, 2023

NORTHAMPTON, MA – Dozens of major U.S. companies and investors are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize strong multi-pollutant emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles and stringent greenhouse gas emissions for heavy-duty vehicles.

In a letter submitted today to the EPA, 60 leading companies and investors made the case that strong vehicle emission standards are critical to achieve national climate and economic goals. The signatories underscored the growing number of companies committed to transitioning to zero-emission cars, vans, and trucks to reduce their fuel and maintenance costs. They also emphasized the need for strong standards to set clear market expectations, meet demand, and ensure fleet operators can benefit from federal and state incentives.

Signatories of the letter included Avocado Green BrandsEnel North AmericaFriends Fiduciary CorporationHackensack Meridian HealthIKEALion ElectricLucidNew Belgium BrewingNestléSierra Nevada BrewingSnowsports Industries of AmericaWorkhorse, and Zevin Asset Management, among others.

“Transportation is the largest source of [greenhouse gas] emissions in the U.S. and represents a substantial component of our companies’ and portfolios’ carbon footprint. By enacting strong vehicle emissions standards that require vehicle manufacturers to produce increasingly efficient and clean vehicles and drive the electrification of the sector, EPA will help ensure the availability of the vehicles needed by companies to cut operating costs, reduce emissions consistent with our climate goals, and support healthy communities for our customers and employees,” the signatories wrote in the letter.

The EPA’s proposed light- and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards would spur electric vehicle production and sales by effectively ensuring that zero-emission vehicles account for as much as two-thirds of new vehicle sales by 2032. The EPA also proposed new greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles, such as large trucks, that would help meet the growing market demand for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

“Lion Electric has been at the forefront in supporting the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emission (GHG) standards for heavy-duty vehicles that will help advance electrification and address the industry need toward a zero-emission future,” said Nate A. Baguio, senior vice president of commercial development at Lion Electric. “Research shows the transportation sector generates 30% of GHG, and setting this rule will result in health benefits for many, including those who live in underserved communities, and who are impacted by the harmful effects of pollution.”

In the letter, businesses urged the EPA to finalize the strongest proposed standards and specifically called for a heavy-duty standard that supports at least 50% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2032-a target that is consistent with state regulations, including California’s Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, as well as manufacturer commitments and federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The $79 billion winter outdoor industry depends on a robust transportation sector. It supports our global supply chain and makes our winter-tourism-dependent mountain communities accessible to millions. Yet the transportation sector is also a major cause of our climate problem, of which we are on the front lines,” said Chris Steinkamp, head of advocacy for Snowsports Industries of America. “Placing strong standards across the U.S. transportation sector is a priority for our industry, to protect the future of our businesses, our local winter tourism-based economies, and the healthy mountain environments that we all depend on.”

“As an all-electric OEM, Workhorse fully supports an Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) aligned EPA standard, enabling fleet owners and operators to realize the fuel cost and maintenance savings from commercial EVs,” said Rich Dauch, CEO of Workhorse. “Standards alignment will simplify operations for U.S. fleet owners and have an outsized impact reducing emissions since medium- and heavy-duty vehicles account for 5 percent of total U.S. vehicles while generating 24 percent of emissions.”

“At Zevin Asset Management, we see a strong business case for more zero-emission vehicles and corporate fleet electrification. These standards are building on our nation’s progress on climate and public health to meaningfully mitigate the outsized impact of emissions stemming from the transportation sector,” said Marcela I. Pinilla, director of sustainable investing at Zevin Asset Management. “Volatile fuel prices and reliance on fossil fuels pose significant risks to the economy. The adoption of the strongest vehicle standards will help to manage these risks, reduce emissions, and bolster the production of efficient cleaner vehicles. Not only will standards like these make this possible but will also contribute to healthy communities by reducing pollution.”

Dozens of other companies also offered their support for strong vehicle emissions standards. The Ceres BICEP Network, a coalition of more than 85 leading U.S. businesses that collectively advocate for just environmental policies, called on the EPA to adopt vehicle standards to spur the transition to zero emission trucks at the pace and scale necessary to meet the 2030 and 2050 U.S. climate commitments. The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, a coalition of 32 major U.S. businesses organized by Ceres to accelerate commercial electric vehicle deployment, also submitted a letter urging the EPA to align all vehicle standards with U.S. climate and public health goals to ensure a diverse supply of cost-competitive zero emission vehicles to meet long-term corporate demand.

Many of these companies are committed to improving the health of the communities in which they operate and where their employees live. While passenger vehicles represent the single largest source of transportation emissions, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles have an outsized impact, accounting for more than 20% of transportation-related emissions despite representing about 5% of vehicles on U.S. roads. Rapid growth in zero-emission vehicle sales would dramatically reduce both greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and harmful air pollution that especially affects communities located near highways, busy roads, and major freight centers.

“EPA emissions standards are a critical tool for reducing pollution from the transportation sector. They provide a catalyst to accelerate the nation toward 100% zero emission vehicle sales which will protect public health and the environment while creating millions of domestic manufacturing jobs and preserving American economic competitiveness,” said Thomas Boylan, regulatory director at ZETA.

“The EPA has a historic opportunity to put forth strong greenhouse gas vehicles standards that will unleash billions of dollars of new private sector investment and a whole new wave of innovation. Strong federal standards will drive the growth of United States clean transportation and create thousands of new jobs,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART.

“Between the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, and various state laws and policies, the U.S. is well-positioned to become the best place in the world to build and buy electric vehicles and their components,” said Zach Friedman, director of federal policy, Ceres. “Businesses are eager to transition to zero-emission cars, vans, and trucks. Strong federal vehicle emission standards will set the expectations necessary to meet this growing demand and achieve America’s climate and economic goals. We urge the EPA to heed the business case and put the U.S. at the forefront of the competition to lead this historic transition.”

The letter was organized by Ceres, CALSTART, Zero Emission Transportation Association, Climate Group, Climate Collaborative, and B Lab.

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

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