Zero-emission trucks and buses critical to fighting climate change and air pollution

CO Advocates Support Multi-State Move to Cut Truck, Bus Pollution

July 14, 2020

Travis Madsen, SWEEP |, 720-669-7488


DENVER, CO – Colorado joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia to announce new plans to clean up pollution from trucks, aiming to make at least 30% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales in their states zero-emission vehicles by no later than 2030 and 100% by 2050. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) sets targets for achieving full electrification of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, along with interim sales targets for manufacturers.

Advocates called on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck Rule to help meet the targets, which it can do under federal Clean Air Act authority. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project estimates that adopting the rule in Colorado would prevent on the order of 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution relative to business as usual through 2040, while saving industry more than $1 billion on fuel and maintenance and preventing more than $1 billion in health-care costs by cleaning up our air.

Clean car advocates released the following statements:

“We should never accept unhealthy air days as the cost of getting around. The technology is there to not only switch to cleaner, electric-powered passenger cars but also to ditch dirty diesel trucks. This MOU demonstrates the state’s commitment to pursuing cleaner trucks that will reduce air pollution, fight global warming, and lower vehicle fuel and maintenance costs. I’m glad to see Governor Polis and Colorado’s leadership on this.” – Danny Katz, Director of CoPIRG (Colorado Public Interest Research Group)

“The current COVID-19 crisis brings the importance of climate action and clean air into even sharper relief. It shows more than ever that public health matters, science matters and leadership matters. Our leaders are wise to ensure that Colorado’s economic recovery from this pandemic includes long-term goals to electrify all medium- and heavy-duty trucks as part of a recovery that centers public health, jobs and justice.” – Katie Belgard, Government Affairs Director, Conservation Colorado

“Low-income communities and communities of color are heavily impacted by medium and heavy-duty truck pollution, leading to higher rates of asthma, cancer and higher COVID-19 death rates. We applaud the Polis Administration for joining this historic agreement — cracking down on transportation emissions, reducing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels and steering Colorado towards a clean energy future.” – Jenny Willford, Clean Energy Advocate, Colorado Sierra Club

“We need more clean and efficient electric trucks in Colorado. Acting on this plan will save us money and clean our air. Colorado’s impact will be much greater working alongside these other states, which together represent 35 percent of America’s truck market. Governor Polis is leading us in the right direction. I’m excited to see this progress.” – Travis Madsen, Transportation Program Director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

“No package delivered by a diesel truck is worth dirty air, asthma and climate change. It’s time to shift past the old way of thinking and move toward a clean environment with trucks that don’t pollute. Clean electric trucks can clear the air and help stave off the worst impacts of climate change. That’s the delivery we are all waiting for.” – Hannah Collazo, State Director, Environment Colorado

“Transitioning to zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is long overdue. When these vehicles burn diesel or gasoline, they belch black smoke filled with toxic air pollution that is harmful for communities along transportation corridors. Under this historic agreement, states will work together to accelerate the zero-emission truck and bus market to create a cleaner and healthier future for their communities. We hope other states will soon follow their lead.” –  Patricio Portillo, Transportation Analyst, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

“This commitment today by a bipartisan group of governors is an encouraging step that signals the growing need and momentum for electrified transportation. Electrifying the trucking industry is an essential part of addressing climate change and will help curb the air pollution near highways and freight distribution hubs that disproportionately impacts low-income communities and causes higher rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, in this time of pandemic when we are ever more aware of the need for clean air and a healthy environment.” – Aaron Kressig, Transportation Electrification Manager, Western Resource Advocates

“As an organization of medical professionals who see the health consequences of polluted air in patients every day, we applaud the leadership of Governor Polis to transition Colorado to zero-emission trucks. Diesel trucks emit toxic and health-altering pollutants that are causing Coloradans to visit our clinics and hospitals more often with exacerbated respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, and overtime, this can result in premature death. Committing to clean trucks is not just a commitment to clean air, it’s a commitment to our public health.” – Sabrina Pacha, Program Manager, Healthy Air and Water Colorado

“The commitment by a bipartisan group of Governors to electrify trucks is a commitment to cleaner air and a stronger economy.  Private investment in next-generation EV technology – both development and production – is flowing at higher rates to Clean Cars states. By adopting a Clean Truck rule, Coloradans can expect EV jobs to continue to grow here at home and help build Colorado’s economy back better.” – Susan Nedell, Mountain West Advocate, E2 – Environmental Entrepreneurs