DNREC: DE Low Emission Vehicle Program Published Friday in DE Register of Regulations
UPDATED 12/01/23 – DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin released his finalized regulation to adopt the Advanced Clean Car II program earlier this week, which has now been published in Delaware’s Register of Regulations Friday (Dec 1, 2023). The Amendment is effective on December 11th. The order relates to Delaware’s Low Emission Vehicle Program (7 DE Admin. Code 1140). It seeks to reduce criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from new light- and medium-duty vehicles beginning with model year 2027 and to add new requirements for zero-emission vehicles.
ORIGINAL STORY – 11/29/23 – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has finalized regulations to adopt the Advanced Clean Car II (ACC II) program, which aims to reduce pollution from light- and medium-duty vehicles but will cap the zero-emission vehicle requirement at 82%. In doing so, Delaware is taking a significant step to improve air quality and address climate change, according to DNREC. The regulations require automakers to deliver an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for sale in Delaware. Zero-emission options, including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles, will be more accessible across the state.
Additional Information from DNREC:
Under the finalized regulation, starting with model year 2027, 43% of new cars and trucks sent to Delaware for sale will be ZEVs. The percentage will increase to 82% in 2032. The regulations will expire in model year 2033. This is similar to regulations in some other states. The changes will be phased in over the period and the regulations do not prohibit the sale or use of internal combustion engine vehicles.
The decision was announced by a DNREC Secretary’s Order and is set for publication in the Delaware Register of Regulations on Dec. 1, 2023. It was informed by state law, the federal Clean Air Act, information included in the technical response memo and comments received from the public during the rule-making process.
“By adopting the revised regulation, DNREC aims to protect public health, reduce emissions, and align with Delaware’s climate goals – all while providing consumers with cleaner and more sustainable transportation options,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This decision will result in cleaner air in Delaware and strengthen protections for communities overburdened by exposure to tailpipe pollution.”
The Delaware ACC II program as originally proposed provided targets for yearly sales of ZEVs reaching 100% by 2035. Extending the requirement only through 2032, rather than 2035, will still help Delaware reduce emissions and support a thriving market for clean cars. It will also address concerns raised in the public comments the Department received.
Pollution from transportation is a leading contributor to Delaware’s greenhouse gas emissions. Gas and diesel vehicles are also significant sources of nitrogen oxides. These pollutants adversely affect public health and interact with sunlight to form harmful ground-level ozone pollution. The regulations will reduce these forms of pollution and contribute to the improved health of underserved communities that are more likely to be near busy roadways.
Increasing the number of ZEVs on Delaware roads, along with building out the state’s electric vehicle charging network, are key strategies outlined in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan.
Through the Inflation Reduction Act, there are federal tax credits and rebates available for ZEV purchases. DNREC currently offers a rebate up to $2,500 to support the purchase of a new electric vehicle, which can be added to the federal tax credits. Also, lower-cost models are increasingly available. A regularly updated list provides car shoppers a quick reference to the vehicles eligible for the rebate.
Additionally, Delaware is actively working to expand its ZEV charging infrastructure to meet the increased demand for charging from more electric vehicles on the road, including stations located along major highways and in nearer proximity to rural and underserved areas.
DNREC will evaluate progress by using tracking tools to conduct annual reviews of the program. These annual reviews will confirm the delivery of zero-emitting vehicles to Delaware and indicate that advancements in technology, supply chains, affordability and battery performance are occurring in the automotive industry as anticipated.