Maryland appears to be following in the footsteps of several other states in aligning with California’s Clean Cars standards. Governor Wes Moore announced on Monday that the state will join a multi-state coalition adopting the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations, which sets targets for sales of zero-emission vehicles starting with model year 2026 and requires all vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission starting in 2035.
The move aims to scale down vehicle emissions over the next decade, and the Maryland Department of the Environment estimates that under the Clean Cars II rule, 383,000 fewer gas-powered vehicles would be sold in the state by 2030, with that number increasing to 1.68 million vehicles by 2035.
Maryland’s adoption of the stricter standards for vehicle emissions follows action taken in several other states, including Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. Under the Federal Clean Air Act, states have the option to either align with emission standards set by the federal government or adopt California’s more stringent standards for vehicle emissions.
“Adopting Advanced Clean Cars II is vital to meet Maryland’s climate and public health goals,” said Ramon Palencia-Calvo, director of Maryland’s League of Conservation Voters. “This is especially true for communities of color and low-income communities that continue to bear the brunt of the climate burden and face higher exposure to pollution. Increasing the numbers of clean vehicles [on] our roads will reduce respiratory illness and hospitalizations, leading to healthier outcomes.”
In an effort to accelerate the adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars rule, the Air Quality Control Advisory Council on Monday recommended that the Maryland Department of the Environment propose a regulation to enact the new standards. The department aims to have the regulation enacted in September.
Moore said in a statement on Monday, “I am confident that the state of Maryland can and will lead the clean energy revolution.”