Connecticut has joined a consortium of states working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by promoting the use of electric medium and heavy duty vehicles.

Connecticut was among 15 states and the District of Columbia to sign a joint memorandum of understanding promising that by 2050 all new medium and heavy duty vehicles are zero emission.

The memorandum has an interim target of 30% zero emission sales by 2030.

The vehicles include large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and tractor-trailers.

It follows a recent move by the California Air Resources Board to require truck manufacturers to start transitioning to electric fleets in 2024.

By 2045, every new truck sold in California must be zero emission.

Pollution Targets

Connecticut joined California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and D.C. in signing the memorandum.

It comes as climate change continues to influence how business is done in Connecticut and worldwide.

The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, which announced the agreement, said it will “go a long way toward slashing harmful diesel emissions and cutting carbon pollution.”

The states and D.C. will work through the Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle Task Force to develop a plan that will provide a framework and help coordinate efforts to reach the memorandum's goals.

The transportation sector is the nation's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with trucks and buses producing nearly 25% of those emissions despite accounting for only 4% of vehicles on the road, NESCAUM said.


“Now is the time to act regionally to protect the health of our residents and our climate by reducing emissions from medium and heavy duty trucks,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.

“In Connecticut, as in other states, our most vulnerable residents are hit hardest by the health effects of air pollution, including asthma and other respiratory ailments.

“I am looking forward to working with partner states through this agreement to leverage private sector ingenuity with smart public policy to transition to zero-emission vehicles.”

Environmental groups praised the move.

“Transitioning to zero-emission medium and heavy duty vehicles is long overdue,” the National Resources Defense Council said.

Joseph Sculley of the Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut said a national approach makes more sense than a “patchwork of state-by-state laws” and that the move could hurt Connecticut truck dealers.

“Creating a mandate to force the sale of more expensive trucks in certain states will just push truck sales—and jobs— to other states,” he said.

“It will put Connecticut businesses on an unlevel playing field.”