Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Virginia Becomes a Money Saving ‘Clean Cars’ State

Consumer Groups Applaud VA Governor Northam and State Legislature for Paving the Way for More Quiet, Efficient Electric Vehicles

Washington D.C. — Last week, Governor Northam made the economically sensible and energy efficient decision to sign HB 1965, legislation establishing a low-emission vehicle (LEV) and zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) program in Virginia, making it the 15th state to become a Clean Cars state. The LEV rule will strengthen regulations on tailpipe emissions, increasing the fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in Virginia, and the ZEV program ensures more electric vehicles will be available in Virginia beginning with Model Year 2025 vehicles.

The momentum to transition to electric vehicles is a direct result of more and more states adopting achievable, cost-effective fuel efficiency standards. “By having Clean Car Standards, Virginians will be able to take advantage of money saving, low maintenance EVs. Virginia is the first southern state to become a Clean Cars state, joining the ranks of 14 other states and DC. The Old Dominion has thus made consumers’ pocketbooks a priority—we hope other states follow suit,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of CFA.

“I am pleased Virginia has taken this important step forward. These Standards will create good paying jobs, save consumers and businesses money, reduce our impact on the environment, and help address climate change,” said Irene Leech, President of Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (VCCC).

Reducing the sizeable percentage of household expenditures[1] that energy usage demands requires a multi-faceted approach at both the federal and state level. Virginia’s action supports the efforts of the Biden Administration in restoring the fuel efficiency standards eviscerated by the previous administration. “The ability of states to adopt more aggressive standards is one of the great benefits of American federalism, empowering individual states to find better ways of accomplishing shared goals,” said Gillis.

“Virginians are on the road to a brighter and cleaner future thanks to Governor Northam and the General Assembly joining the other states in the Clean Cars program. We hope that the nation’s 35 non-Clean Car states follow Virginia’s lead. The bottom line is that clean cars are more efficient, cost less to fuel and are cheaper to maintain,” concluded Leech.

[1] For households in the lowest 20% of income (before taxes), energy bills average 6% of total expenditures, while for those in the highest 20% of income (before taxes), energy bills average only 3% of total expenditures. Lower residential energy use reduces home energy expenditures as share of household income, U.S. Department of Energy, 2013.

Contact: Jack Gillis, CFA, 202-939-1018