Report: Electric trucks could save Oregonians $21.1 billion, avoid 84k illnesses

SALEM — Oregon can save $21.1 billion and avoid 84,000 respiratory illnesses by 2050 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 was prepared by M.J. Bradley & Associates and commissioned by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and Union of Concerned Scientists.

Oregon joined 14 other states in setting a goal of 100 percent electric truck and bus sales by 2050, and the state’s Department of Environmental Quality is considering adopting the ACT and HDO rules this November to accelerate this transition. The ACT rule would require truck manufacturers to increase sales of zero-emission trucks in the state, and the HDO rule would require manufacturers to meet requirements including reducing air pollution from new combustion-engine trucks. 

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

  • Delivering net societal benefits of $21.1 billion, including public health benefits and savings for fleet owners and utility customers.
  • Avoiding nearly 84,000 respiratory illnesses, 160 premature deaths, and 120 hospital admissions and emergency room visits.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses by 50 million metric tonsparticulate matter by over 1,290 metric tons, and smog-forming nitrogen by nearly 223,300 tons.
  • Saving household utility customers $70 annually and commercial customers $410 per year on electricity bills.
  • Saving fleet owners more than $1 billion annually, in part through savings on fuel and maintenance.
  • Attracting nearly $87 million annually in investments in public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The report also found that the ACT and HDO rules would contribute to reducing truck and bus emissions by 93 percent for nitrogen oxides (NOx), by 83 percent for particulate matter (PM), and by 55 percent for greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), compared with today’s emission levels.

“While the health benefits of transitioning to zero-emissions trucks are evident to anyone who has seen a diesel-powered truck belch black smoke into the air, not everyone knows that these cleaner vehicles will also save us money,” said NRDC Clean Vehicles Advocate Patricio Portillo. “This report shows that fleet owners can save big by transitioning to zero-emissions trucks due to lower maintenance and fuel costs, and that every Oregonian will see the savings from lower electricity bills and improvements in public health.”

“We won’t meet our air quality and climate goals without increasing the availability of electric trucks and reducing emissions from diesel trucks,” said Jason Barbose, senior policy manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “This analysis confirms that adopting clean truck standards in Oregon will reduce pollution, improve air quality, and save fleets money.”

Tackling the climate crisis means Oregon must clamp down on climate-disrupting transportation emissions and electrify the vehicles — including trucks —  doing the most harm to communities,” said Hieu Le, campaign representative for Sierra Club. "Adopting strong programs to require sales of zero-emission trucks will help us take climate action and deliver cleaner air to benefit all Oregon residents, especially the frontline communities of color most exposed to this daily pollution.”

“E2’s Oregon business members understand that clean truck policies provide important market direction that drives in-state investment, job creation, and business savings,” said Andy Wunder, Western States Advocate at E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). “With state policymakers working to stimulate economic development and reduce business costs, this report shows that electric truck policy leadership will be good for Oregon’s economy and environment.” E2 developed this fact sheet summarizing the benefits of the report.

“Oregon has lagged behind its western neighbors for too long in the urgency to address the public health crisis caused by persistent diesel pollution,” said Mary Peveto, Executive Director of Neighbors for Clean Air. “Unfortunately, this not only slowed our efforts to transition to cleaner engines, but it established Oregon as an open market for the older, dirtier diesel equipment and trucks from our neighboring states.  While this hurts everyone, the negative consequences of inaction have impacted the health and well-being of BIPOC communities hardest. These rules are critical for Oregon to address a long standing environmental injustice while also taking aggressive action on a significant contributor to the climate crisis we all face.”

“We have to move away from fossil diesel and electrify at some point,” said Sara Wright, Transportation Program Director for Oregon Environmental Council. “Either we do it now, and actualize the enormous benefits to human health and the stability of our climate, or we wait - and continue to pay the social costs of diesel in our lives every day and in the future of our communities.”

"A legacy of segregation, economic exclusion and historically biased land use planning practices have concentrated sites of toxic diesel pollution near and within frontline, environmental justice communities,” said Aimée Okotie-Oyekan, Environmental and Climate Justice Coordinator for NAACP Eugene/Springfield. “The conversation around vehicle electrification presents us with an opportunity to lead equitable climate action both at home and globally. That looks like ensuring an equitable transition to clean fuels, from the frontiers of extraction to the tailpipe, and everything in between."

“The report demonstrates the potential for high road job creation for workers in construction, manufacturing, mechanical, and drivers/operator through policies such as the Advanced Clean Truck Rule,” Said Ranfis Giannettino Villatoro with Oregon BlueGreen Alliance. “Now we must take the next steps to ensure these rules are implemented and that they are coupled with thoughtful policies that protect workers, offer 21st Century workforce training, and ensure competitive wages and benefits.”


Transitioning to zero-emission trucks is essential to clean up the dirty air that is making our 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.

“This is why Oregon needs to prioritize every tool to clean up the delivery trucks, transit and school buses, big rigs and other vehicles that make up the medium and heavy duty transportation sector,” said Victoria Paykar, Oregon Transportation Policy Manager for Climate Solutions. “Getting zero-emission trucks on the road is a public health imperative and has been a decades-long priority of environmental justice advocates. Replacing dirty diesel-powered trucks with their zero-emission counterparts can clean the air we breathe, reduce climate emissions, and create green jobs.”

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 and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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