Del. Takes New Step To Reduce Auto Emissions

Delaware plans to adopt what’s known as California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulations, according to Governor John Carney.

Carney said Thursday that drivers who are looking to purchase an electric vehicle will find more options at Delaware dealerships.

13 other states have also adopted the policy.

“By creating a better environment for the sale and purchase of electric vehicles, and aligning the environment with massive investments in infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will create a positive electric vehicle future in our state,” Carney said.

Delaware signed onto the U.S. Climate Alliance in 2017, committing to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025.

The ZEV program is managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, with the goal of accelerating the commercialization of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. The regulations mandate that a certain percentage of the vehicles delivered for sale in a state are Zero Emission Vehicles. Manufacturers receive credits for each delivered vehicle, based on the type of vehicle, range and other factors.

According to DNREC, each year manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit amount that is based on average annual sales. In states that already have the ZEV program, the auto industry has met that requirement.

“Since 2015, Delaware has managed several successful incentive programs to encourage residents and businesses to switch to clean transportation alternatives,” Delaware Natural Resources Secretary Shawn Garvin said. “In tandem with the electric transportation infrastructure investments being made by the state, ZEV will help provide momentum to our transition to an electric transportation future.”

More from DNREC:

The DNREC Clean Vehicle Rebate Program currently offers rebates up to $2,500 within 90 days of a vehicle purchase or lease before June 30, 2022. In November, DNREC also announced a $1.4 million grant program to expand Delaware’s electric charging network. Funding will be targeted to increase the availability of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where access to fast charging stations is limited. 

In addition, the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide almost $18 million to Delaware over five years to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging networks along major routes, and contains possible funding opportunities for electric transit buses, electric school buses and other electric vehicle infrastructure.

Implementation of the ZEV regulations would not take place until model year 2027 (2026) to provide manufacturers time to adjust their inventories and prepare dealerships. There are currently at least 45 ZEV models available to customers in the United States, and over 1.5 million ZEVs have been sold nationwide.