Electric Trucks Could Avoid 136,000 Illnesses, Save New Jerseyans $11.6 Billion, Says New Report

New Jersey’s Electrification of Trucks and Buses will Provide Far-Reaching Benefits

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey can avoid 136,000 respiratory illnesses by 2050 and save $11.6 billion by transitioning to zero-emission electric trucks, according to a new report that estimates the impacts of the proposed Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus (HDO) rules. The report -- Assessing Impacts of Advanced Clean Truck & Omnibus Programs for New Jersey -- was prepared by MJ Bradley & Associates and commissioned by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and Union of Concerned Scientists, with support by Clean Water Action and the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance serving as advising contributors.

The ACT rule would require truck manufacturers to increase sales of zero-emission trucks in the state, and the HDO rule would impose emissions limits on combustion-engine trucks sold in the state.

The report found that New Jerseyans will see many health, climate, and economic benefits of the ACT and HDO rules by 2050, including:

  • Avoiding nearly 136,000 respiratory illnesses, 230 premature deaths, and 250 hospital admissions and emergency room visits.
  • Delivering net societal benefits of $11.6 billion, including public health benefits and savings for fleet owners and utility customers.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses by nearly 19 million metric tons (CO2 -equivalents), particulate matter by 245 tons, and smog-forming nitrogen by over 144,000 tons.
  • Saving fleet owners $420 million annually by 2050, in part through savings on fuel and maintenance.
  • Attracting $68 million per year in investments in public and depot-based electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Accelerating the deployment of zero emission trucks and buses would dramatically lower pollution from these vehicles compared to today’s levels. Implementation of these rules would help contribute to a reduction in truck emissions that are 91% lower in nitrogen oxide (NOx), 77 percent lower in particulate matter (PM), and 41% lower in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) compared to today’s levels.

Transitioning to zero-emission trucks is essential to clean up the dirty air that is making New Jersey communities sick. Fossil fuel-powered trucks emit toxic air pollution, contributing to smog and fine particulate pollution. This pollution leads to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases—including asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks, and strokes—and can cause premature death.

Pollution from fossil fuel-powered trucks is especially prevalent in communities of color and low-income communities, which are more likely to be located near freeways and freight hubs. Pollution also disproportionately harms those who work in and alongside these trucks, such as railroad employees, truck drivers, and longshoremen.


The following are quotes from organizations that support the ACT/HDO rules in New Jersey:

“New Jersey’s adoption of these rules is a critical first step to saying ‘goodbye’ to dirty trucks and their health-harming pollutants,” stated Kathy Harris, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “State leaders can demonstrate their public health and climate leadership by implementing these rules in tandem with additional electrification policies and programs that center pollution-impacted communities. And it is paramount that New Jersey move forward with the ACT this year, as a delay will allow thousands of new dirty trucks to be added to the state’s roads, adding pollution for decades to come.”

"Electrifying New Jersey’s diesel trucks is a crucial step to address the climate crisis and clean up toxic air pollution," said Kevin Shen, Northeast Transportation Policy Analyst/Advocate at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The technologies for this transformation are here today, and as this analysis confirms, the benefits are substantial. Electric trucks will save fleets money and improve public health.”

“Tackling the climate crisis means New Jersey must clamp down on climate driven emissions from the transportation sector,” said Taylor McFarland, Acting Director for Sierra Club New Jersey. “Adopting standards to increase sales of zero-emission trucks and buses will get rid of our dirty vehicles and create cleaner air that will benefit all New Jerseyans.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.

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