“If we’re going to have a real shot at stemming the impact of the climate crisis,” explains Athena Motavvef, Earthjustice’s associate legislative representative in Washington, D.C., “we need to ditch fossil fuels, pivot to 100% clean energy, and achieve zero emissions. Making electric vehicles accessible to all people is an important step towards that goal.”
In February, Earthjustice endorsed the Electric Vehicle Freedom Act, introduced by Representatives Andy Levin (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The bill proposes establishing a network of electric charging stations alongside public roads, to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles by the wider public.
WHAT IS “ZERO EMISSIONS”? Zero emissions means that a vehicle emits no pollutants to disrupt the climate or dirty our air.
It’s a broader category that describes electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and other emerging types of technology.
In simple terms, zero emissions means technology that doesn’t rely on combustion to power vehicles.
Meanwhile, Earthjustice attorneys are working to help our nation’s transportation sector transition away from gasoline combustion to zero emissions, including:
- Electric Trucks: We’ve been working to increase the number of electric trucks in California — together with 20,000 residents, we asked the California Air Resources Board to enact the nation’s first electric truck manufacturing standard.
- Charging Infrastructure: And Earthjustice is working with the Public Utilities Commission in California and other states to build more charging infrastructure. This would relieve one of the biggest barriers to having an all-electric vehicle for those who do not have a garage or a driveway, through either workplace charging, or centralized electric vehicle fast charging.
- Zero-Emissions Vehicles: We’re in court defending the ZEV mandate, which is essentially the California state mandate that a certain percentage of vehicle purchases in the state be zero emissions. Ten states have adopted the ZEV mandate through California’s special legal authority in the Clean Air Act.
“The Trump administration is trying to protect the oil and gas industry by slowing the transition to electric vehicles,” said Earthjustice attorney Adrian Martinez of the Right to Zero campaign.
“Fortunately, there’s a lot of opportunity at the local level to bring electric transportation into communities because inherently, a lot of the decisions are local. It’s city councils, it’s mayors, it’s state legislatures that are making these decisions.”
And it’s you.