Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reintroduced their Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Act to position the United States to lead the world in vehicle innovation, combat the climate crisis, and reduce premature deaths from pollution that gasoline engines produce. The bill builds on historic progress made during the 117th Congress to advance the transition to clean vehicles, and it fixes a patchwork of state-level policies by setting a federal zero-emission vehicle standard requiring 35% of new cars sold in 2026, 68% of new cars sold in 2030, and 100% of new cars sold in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles. The ZEV standard would only apply to the sale of new cars.
In addition to its impact on the climate crisis, pollution created by gasoline engines is widely understood by the medical community to cause premature deaths and asthma attacks. Over the past two years, Congress has passed policies that are already helping accelerate the transition to clean vehicles, including electric vehicle incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, historic investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and supercharging our domestic chip manufacturing capabilities through the CHIPS and Science Act.
“Generations of Americans have suffered the effects of pollution from gas-powered cars, from smog-filled air to worsening climate change disasters,” said Rep. Levin. “It’s long past time that we expedite the transition away from these dirty fossil fuels and embrace the clean cars of the future. By doing so, America can lead the way in manufacturing innovative new vehicles, creating good-paying jobs, and reaping the economic rewards instead of ceding those benefits to adversaries. I’m proud to introduce the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act with Senator Merkley to tackle that challenge.”
“Electric vehicles mean cleaner air, healthier communities, and a whole lot less climate pollution,” said Senator Merkley. “We know that vehicle emissions contribute greatly to the existing climate chaos we are all experiencing. We need to tackle this issue head on, and we can’t do that without cutting transportation pollution. Consumers are already looking for affordable, climate-smart options—like electric cars, which help consumers save big at the pump. By rapidly transitioning our cars and trucks to electric vehicles, we can protect our communities and families from future transportation pollution, while creating good jobs making America the epicenter for the new clean car revolution. The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act is a win for consumers and our climate.”
The bill is cosponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representatives Nanette Díaz Barragán (D-CA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Katie Porter (D-CA).
The full text of the legislation is available here.