This week, the Virginia senate passed legislation that would make it the fifteenth state in the nation to adopt California’s Low- or Zero- Emission Vehicle (LEV/ZEV) standards. The bill, HB1965, is expected to pass the General Assembly and become law as early as the end of February. It would require 8% of new vehicle sales to be ZEVs beginning in model year 2025. An amendment to the bill would establish a ZEV credit bank that limits a given manufacturer’s credit-based compliance to 18% of the total ZEV requirement. Notably, the bill passed with the support of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association.
“Our state lawmakers put Virginia on the path to be the first state in the Southeast to adopt clean car standards,” says Kelsey Crane, Sierra Club Virginia Campaign and Policy Director. “Coming into the 2021 session, the environmental community made it clear that lawmakers can’t commit to protecting the health of Virginians without addressing transportation pollution. Adopting clean cars standards will create jobs, save lives, and help preserve our climate. We commend the state legislature for adopting policy that puts climate action, communities, and public health first, and we are hopeful that Governor [Ralph] Northam will sign the clean car standards bill into law.”