Contact: Noah Barnes, Electrification Coalition, (202) 461-2371

FEBRUARY 6, 2024 – Today, 75 mayors – including the mayors of Chicago, Evanston and Rockford in Illinois – sent a letter urging the Biden administration to finalize the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strongest proposed rule for the GHG Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3 rule (HDV rule).

The HDV rule would accelerate the transition from large internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs), reducing carbon pollution, improving air quality and increasing national security by ending oil’s monopoly on transportation.

The transition to clean heavy-duty vehicles, like trucks and buses, is already well underway, largely due to the increased funding for electric transit and charging infrastructure included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). With support from these historic federal programs, school districts are investing in electric school buses, city and state fleets are transitioning to EVs and retail giants are deploying electric freight and delivery trucks nationwide. The Biden administration has the crucial opportunity to maintain this exciting momentum by supporting the EPA’s strongest proposed HDV emissions standard. The 75 mayors supporting the adoption of this rule see its potential to benefit the communities they are responsible for and our nation as a whole, and urge the Biden administration to follow suit.

“The City of Chicago is a leader in innovative environmental initiatives, and sustainability is a key focus of our policies,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “We are on the path to decarbonizing transportation, improving local air quality, and advancing environmental justice through our framework plan to advance EV and e-mobility infrastructure improvements in Chicago equitably. My office and the City recognize that a clean transportation future requires commitment and cooperation, so we are enthusiastic about joining the effort to endorse the EPA’s proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emission Standards and further grow our transportation electrification goals.” 

Illinois is already on the journey toward a heavy-duty EV future. In 2018, the Illinois EPA announced more than $4.2 million in grant awards for electric school buses to school districts and student transportation companies in the Chicago and Metro-East regions through its Driving Cleaner Illinois Program.

The state has been awarded over $90 million from the EPA Clean School Bus Program for more than 300 electric school buses. Illinois school districts have committed 210 electric school buses as of 2023, ranking the state in sixth place among states with the most committed buses.

The IEPA’s Transportation Electrification Infrastructure Projects provide transportation electrification grants of $70 million for EV charging infrastructure. The IEPA will prioritize investments in MHD EV charging and electrification of public transit, fleets, and school buses.

The state has also been at the epicenter of HDEV manufacturing and rollout. Joliet is home to Lion Electric Co., the largest U.S. manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty EVs. Chicago is one of the many cities in the U.S. with Amazon’s custom Rivian electric vans on the road making deliveries. In addition, WasteNot Compost has adopted the largest electric fleet in Illinois, providing compost collection services.

“As the leading all-electric U.S. manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, we at Lion Electric, are helping transform clean energy transportation toward emission-free solutions. Our zero-emission school buses and electric trucks play a critical role in improving air quality, creating new jobs, and bringing economic growth to Illinois communities and beyond. To accelerate these positive outcomes, we fully support the EPA’s proposed heavy-duty vehicle emission standards regulation,” said Nate Baguio, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at Lion Electric.

“Rapidly rising carbon emissions from the transportation sector are driving the shift from fossil fuels to full electrification, especially for medium and heavy-duty trucks, which account for most of these emissions,” said Kara Demirjian Huss, President of Global Marketing, Sustainability and Public Affairs at Illinois-based company TCCI Manufacturing. “At TCCI, we focus on addressing this by providing scalable solutions for those on the path to zero emissions. Passing a federal emission standard can further amplify our efforts to drive economic growth, support sustainability and climate goals, and improve air quality throughout communities nationwide. The time is now for a strong federal standard that will put us on the path to a cleaner future.” 

“Heavy-duty trucks create a disproportionate amount of emissions, particularly in our most marginalized communities, so we must enact the strongest possible emissions standards,” said Electrification Coalition Executive Director Ben Prochazka. “In doing so, we can accelerate freight electrification and finally end oil’s monopoly on freight vehicles. As the world shifts to electric transportation, we cannot fall behind other countries – the time is now. We welcome Illinois’ local leadership joining this effort to set strong standards, protect public health, and reduce our dependence on oil.”

“We have a historic opportunity to accelerate progress towards decarbonizing our transportation sector by supporting the strongest proposed emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles yet,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “We thank the Biden administration for considering our request to help support the heavy-duty vehicle industry in meeting its zero-emissions commitment.”

Read the full letter and recommendations therein.


About Electrification Coalition: 
The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes policies and actions to facilitate the widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) on a mass scale to overcome the economic, public health and national security challenges that stem from America’s dependence on oil.

About Climate Mayors:
Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors since 2014, demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. representing 46 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the climate mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. For more information, please visit our website and follow Climate Mayors on X and LinkedIn. For media inquiries please contact