Illinois Poised to Join California, N.Y. as Clean Transportation Leader

April 1, 2022

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In the Midwestern state of Illinois, much is changing in the way of clean transportation policy and incentives. The Illinois legislators are looking to pass two bills aimed at reducing emissions while supplying funding for new electric heavy-duty vehicles.

Bills SB3171 and HB4389 introduce a voucher incentive program to be implemented by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IL EPA). The program is intended to promote the use of electric trucks by fleet owners by offering a voucher of $200,000 per electric Class 7 or Class 8 truck purchased or leased for a fleet. This voucher system is reminiscent of California’s Heavy-Duty Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) and New York’s Voucher Incentive Program (VIP). If enacted, this would lead to an increased rate of investment in heavy-duty vehicles in one of the busiest supply chain regions in the county. With sister bills introduced into committee by the House and the Senate, the General Assembly is looking to quickly send this bill to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

Illinois is looking to pass Bill HB5388 that would adopt California motor vehicle standards.

Additionally, Illinois is looking to pass Bill HB5388 that would adopt California motor vehicle standards. If enacted, the IL EPA would adopt rules to implement the California’s motor vehicle emission standards, including the zero-emission vehicle program, and any future rules required to maintain consistency with the state’s motor vehicle emission standards and federal clean air laws.

With the passage of the motor vehicle standards, Illinois could be poised to implement successful California emission regulations like the heavy-duty Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule or the light-duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) rules. These regulations set limits on the amount of diesel engines to be sold by original equipment manufacturers in the state. The ACT rule requires manufacturers to produce a set percentage of zero-emission trucks to be purchased by fleets within a target year. This regulation affects any fleet, from small warehouses to national supply chains, that operate within the state in which it is implemented.

Illinois is currently creating bills in a vein of, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

California’s emission regulations and voucher program have increased demand for zero-emission, heavy-duty vehicles substantially in the state, while also stimulating the economy, by requiring suppliers and fleets to invest in innovative, low-carbon transportation technologies. If these bills are passed in Illinois, the state could join others as a leader of the clean transportation transition in the nation.

Overall, Illinois is currently creating bills in a vein of, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” when it comes to clean transportation and improved air quality. By looking to successful programs in other states, Illinois will invest in policy that has a record of proven results. If passed, Illinois would use a two-prong approach of incentivization and regulation to deliver cleaner air and implement Illinois’ commit to reducing emissions.

GNA’s Policy 360 program will continue to monitor these states and others that are developing and exploring policies to promote, or restrict, clean transportation technology and infrastructure. For more information, please reach out to the Policy 360 Group.