Maine Creating New Rules for Clean Cars and Trucks

2032 goal not aggressive enough to meet climate crisis

A row of gray electric cars being charged at charging stations.

July 20, 2023 (PORTLAND, ME) – After Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Sierra Club, and others filed petitions with the state, Maine officials have begun the process of considering new rules designed to spur purchases of electric cars and trucks. The draft standards call for 82% of vehicles sold in the state by 2032 to be electric.

“Harmful emissions from gas-powered cars and trucks are driving the climate crisis and polluting the air in our communities,” said Greg Cunningham, Vice President of Clean Energy and Climate Change at CLF. “In creating these new rules, the state has an opportunity to tackle the climate crisis while cleaning up the air for families in Maine. But the draft released today doesn’t go far enough, and we’ll be pushing officials to ensure 100% of cars and passenger trucks sold are electric by 2035.”

Adopting the standards, known as the Advanced Clean Cars II and Advanced Clean Trucks rules, will help meet the growing demand for electric vehicles and ensure Mainers have access to a greater number of models, helping to lower sticker prices and hasten the transition away from costly and polluting gas-powered cars and trucks.

“Our communities deserve clean air and a transportation system that doesn’t further drive disastrous climate disasters,” said Sierra Club Maine State Conservation and Energy Director Matthew Cannon. Our state leaders should move forward and adopt this important program for 100% electric vehicle sales by 2035 to reduce transportation pollution in Maine, which will improve public health and protect the climate.”

Several other states including Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York have already adopted the stronger clean car and truck standards, with Rhode Island and Connecticut considering or already pursuing passage this year.

More than half of Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels come from tailpipe pollution emitted by gas-powered cars and trucks. Increasing access to zero-emission cars and trucks is a central strategy of Maine’s Climate Action Plan, a top recommendation of the Clean Transportation Roadmap, and is necessary to hit climate targets set by bipartisan majorities in the Legislature.

Experts are available for further comment.