Nevada to join other states in adopting California zero emission vehicle rules

(Reuters) - Nevada’s governor said on Monday his state plans to adopt California’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and tailpipe emissions rules even as the Trump administration has moved to strip states of the right to implement such requirements.

FILE PHOTO: A California car smog check center is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 2, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Nevada will be the latest state to adopt California’s low-and zero-emission vehicle rules following similar announcements by Washington in March and Minnesota and New Mexico in September.

Governor Steve Sisolak said the “new regulations will not require anyone to give up their current vehicle or choose one that does not work for their lifestyle or business needs.”

California’s vehicle emissions rules, which are more stringent than rules advocated by the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump, are currently followed by states accounting for more than 40% of U.S. vehicle sales.

In September, a group of 23 states sued to block the Trump administration from undoing California’s authority to set strict car pollution rules and require more electric cars.

John Bozzella, who heads an auto trade group representing General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp and other major automakers, noted that by 2025, the industry’s investment in electric cars will exceed $200 billion.

Automakers “are committed to working with Governor Sisolak and state regulators toward a smoother transition to ZEV adoption that includes expanded consumer awareness, infrastructure, incentives, fleet requirements, building codes, fuel requirements, and more,” Bozzella said in a statement.

In March, the Trump administration completed a rollback of vehicle emissions rules instituted under former president Barack Obama that had required 5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026, and reduced those requirements to 1.5%.

Nevada is proposing to require ZEV rules beginning in the 2025 model year and to allow automakers to earn credits toward meeting requirements starting in the 2023 model year. The rules require automakers to sell vehicles in Nevada that emit lower emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants.

“This is a critical move that will directly help mitigate climate and public health impacts going forward,” said Jasmine Vazin, an official with the Sierra Club’s Nevada Chapter.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall