Delaware will join 13 other states in adopting California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations. 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.
Managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the ZEV program is designed to accelerate 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 ZEV vehicles. Manufacturers receive credits for each delivered vehicle based on the type of vehicle, range and other factors. Each year, manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit amount that is based on average annual sales. In states already in the program, the automobile industry has successfully met the required percentage.
Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware. DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin said increasing the number of zero emission vehicles on Delaware roads, along with building out the state’s electric vehicle charging network are key strategies outlined in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, a result of a two year-long process involving residents, businesses, and technical experts.
Advancing these strategies will reduce carbon pollution, improve air quality and help support fuel savings for the average consumer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, switching to an electric vehicle could save a household approximately $500 to $1,000 on fuel costs per year. Electric vehicles also tend to have lower maintenance costs than gasoline cars, which also reduces ownership costs.
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.