“President Biden has called on auto manufacturers to make the transition to electric vehicles so that 50% of the market is electric by 2030, and has also put forth a plan for historical investments in EV charging stations. These are critical steps to meet the President’s 2030 vision to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% and stop the devastating impacts of climate change, especially for the most vulnerable communities in our society.
A crucial component to the success of the President’s vision is to ensure that access to zero-emissions infrastructure is available to all Americans no matter where they live or their economic status. Unfortunately, an outdated federal law that prohibits states from developing zero-emissions infrastructure at highway rest stops, park-and-ride and truck parking areas across America is hampering that access. Title 23’s commercialization prohibition prevents families, local workers, truck drivers, school buses and transit buses from more fully taking part in, and benefiting from, a new transportation future in America.
If Congress acts to remedy this outdated law and allow states to provide EV charging and zero-emissions infrastructure on their highway corridors, they’ll be helping unleash a host of important outcomes associated with the President’s vision:
- A new fleet of clean trucks will be able to provide their services more broadly without producing the air and noise pollution that has caused health and livability issues in cities, towns, and neighborhoods across America.
- Small-to-medium sized contractors that are often of low and moderate-income will be able to extend the range of their electric pick-up trucks and other service vehicles.
- More families will be able to travel farther, and more economically, even if they cannot afford an EV with a long-range battery.
- Those living in rural and other areas with limited to no charging will now be able to invest in EVs and other clean cars as viable options for more extended travel.
- Electric school buses, electric transit buses, and over-the-road electric bus operators will be able to extend the range of their services, providing crucial resources to our Nation’s children and the traveling public.
We urge Congress to amend Title 23 and allow states to partner with the private sector to offer zero-emission charging and refueling as a commercial activity on the NHS rights-of-way. A broad expansion of our clean transportation infrastructure to park-and-ride facilities and highway rest areas can unlock the equity, climate and economic benefits of President Biden’s vision. Not acting on this important provision will have the opposite effect for all traveling Americans.”
Link to the full letter with signers: Letter in Support of Commercialization on the NHS