Federal Lawmakers Call for the End of Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales in the U.S.

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Federal Lawmakers Call for the End of Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales in the U.S.

A Zero-Emission Vehicle

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two federal lawmakers introduced legislation to end U.S. sales of new gas-powered vehicles in 15 years.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) unveiled the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2020 on Oct. 20. According to the legislators, the path-breaking legislation would create jobs, improve health and address climate chaos.

"If we don't make things in America, we won't have a middle class in America. And if we don't save our planet from climate chaos, our entire economy and our nation's public health will end up in shambles," Merkley said. 

According to the lawmakers, the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act would fix a patchwork of state-level policies by setting a federal zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) standard to boost the market for battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The standard would require that by 2025, 50 percent of sales for new passenger vehicles are ZEVs, and ramp up 5 percent each year to 100 percent by 2035. The ZEV standard would only be applied to the sale of new cars.

"We are already experiencing devastating effects of the climate crisis in California, but we can still protect our planet for future generations if we take aggressive action now," Levin said. "Transitioning to zero-emission vehicles will drastically reduce harmful carbon pollution, improve public health and create the cleantech jobs of the future right here in America."

Nineteen additional lawmakers co-sponsored the Zero Emission Vehicles Act.

The proposed legislation follows a similar measure in California. In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in 2035, giving automakers 15 years' notice to boost their zero-emission efforts.

Newsom also wants medium and heavy duty commercial trucks to be 100 percent zero-emission by 2045 "where feasible," as Convenience Store News previously reported.