Contact: Noah Barnes, Electrification Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 461-2371
FEBRUARY 6, 2024 – Today, 75 mayors – including the mayors of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti in Michigan – 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 Detroit is renowned as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, helping lead mobility innovation and, now committing to exploring a more sustainable future with fewer emissions,” said Jack Akinlosotu, Director of Office of Sustainability at the City of Detroit. “We are determined to improve air quality and public health for Detroiters and support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule for the Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles to do so. As the nation’s first City with wireless charging public roadways, we are on track to becoming a leader in the Midwest for charging infrastructure. Through our Detroit Climate Strategy, my office is determined to increase zero-emission mobility options to achieve 100% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050 and keep Detroit’s neighborhoods clean and connected.”
Michigan is already on the journey toward a heavy-duty EV future. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) allocated $16 million from the Volkswagen settlement funds through its Fuel Transformation Program (FTP) to support the replacement of medium- and heavy-duty trucks, port drayage vehicles, shuttle buses, and transit buses with cleaner versions, with preference given to EVs and charging equipment.
In 2022, the state was awarded over $54 million from the first round of the EPA Clean School Bus Rebate Program for 138 electric school buses for 25 school districts. In 2024, the state received $17 million in funding from the EPA Clean School Bus (CSB) Grant Program to purchase 60 electric school buses, including 15 buses for Detroit Public Schools Community District. Michigan school districts have committed 152 electric school buses as of 2023, ranking the state in 8th place among states with the most committed buses.
The Michigan Department of Education and EGLE are complementing the EPA CSBP by offering $125 million in state incentives to help districts purchase school buses powered by clean fuels like propane, natural gas, and electricity. Applications are expected to open in Spring 2024. The state has also been at the epicenter of heavy-duty EV rollout. Grand Rapids is one of the many cities in the U.S. with Amazon’s custom Rivian electric vans on the road making deliveries.
The mayors’ letter follows another letter sent to the White House by over 80 corporate leaders in November, advocating for the same strong standard to be adopted to promote economic development, protect American national security and solidify our country’s growing commitment to a clean transportation future.
“At Higher Grounds Coffee, we invest in carbon-sequestering agricultural practices and other environmental service projects that contribute to sustainable development in farming communities,” said Jennifer Yeatts, Director of Coffee at Higher Grounds Coffee in Traverse City, Michigan. “We continue to develop, maintain, and support our collective goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 but understand the setback transportation-emitted greenhouse gas emissions can bring to our mission. As a small business striving to achieve environmental sustainability and keep our communities healthy, we champion establishing a federal standard for heavy-duty vehicles for a better 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 Michigan’s 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. ElectrificationCoalition.org
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 email@example.com.