Governor Phil Scott Signs Multi-State Agreement to Electrify Trucks and Buses

14 July 2020

Governor Phil Scott today announced that Vermont has joined 15 states and the District of Columbia in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate the electrification of the medium and heavy-duty bus and truck market. The agreement calls for 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2050.

States signing the MOU are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

“This agreement is an important step forward in our ongoing commitment to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road in Vermont,” said Governor Scott. “Electrifying buses and trucks while making the technology more affordable and accessible is key to meeting our state emissions goals, and this agreement will help move the market in this direction.”

The transportation sector accounts for 44% of Vermont’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up 14% of the on-road sector total. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles include large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, long-haul delivery trucks, and school and transit buses. Nationally, truck emissions are the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases, and truck travel is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades.

“The Agency has a significant number of medium and heavy-duty vehicles in our fleet. We know that transitioning our truck and bus fleets to run on clean electric power will be an important part of how we meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets. I am excited for the Agency to participate along with our sister agencies across the country,” said Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “We know this is going to be a challenge, but we look forward to leaning into this work, so we can build momentum and scale for this market transformation.”

Today, there are at least 70 electric truck and bus models on the market, with more new models expected over the next decade.

“Electrifying our trucks and buses is a critical step in achieving statewide emission reductions and protect public health in Vermont,” said Department Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Peter Walke. “Cars and trucks are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Vermont. Entering into a collaborative agreement will help us significantly reduce these and other harmful emissions.”

This initiative builds on Vermont’s 2013 commitment to participate in the multistate Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Task Force to electrify light-duty vehicles. The ZEV Task Force will provide the framework to help coordinate efforts to meet the goals of the MOU and develop and implement a ZEV action plan for trucks and buses. In addition, DEC launched Vermont’s Electric School and Transit Bus Pilot Program. Administered by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), the pilot program will evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of operating electric buses in Vermont and quantify the reduction in nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Findings will inform future electric bus purchases by Vermont school districts and transit agencies. 

The MOU is facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). For more information, visit www.nescaum.org.

FAQs

  • Your vehicle’s computer memory may have been reset by a scan tool, during a recent repair, or
  • Your battery was recently disconnected or lost its charge, or
  • Your vehicle has an emissions control system problem preventing it from self-testing.
  • Determine what is needed to repair the vehicle
  • Contact dealer to find out if the repair is covered under emissions warranty.
  • If not covered under the emissions warranty obtain a written repair estimate and talk to your mechanic to determine what options exist. You may be eligible for a time extension.

Have your emissions problem diagnosed and determine if the repair is covered under emissions warranty. You will need to make the repair and return for a re-test to get a pass sticker.

Federal law requires Vermont to have an emissions testing program. Ensuring your vehicle is in proper working order allows for;

  • Early detection of defects that lead to repairs that improve vehicle performance and fuel economy.
  • Repairing a defect before it gets worse saves money.
  • Protecting our environment and our health by identifying vehicle problems that cause increased air pollution.

Depending on the model year and mileage of your vehicle, emissions system repairs may be covered by the vehicle manufacturer. Vermont law requires that a vehicle’s entire emissions control system be warranted for a minimum of 3 years or 50,000 miles. Warranty coverage for the more expensive emissions control components is extended to at least 7 years or 70,000 miles, and the catalytic converter is covered up to 8 years or 80,000 miles. Some vehicles’ emissions control systems are warranted up to 15 years or 150,000 miles! Be sure to check your owner’s manual or warranty booklet! For more information on warranty coverage visit: http://dec.vermont.gov/ sites/dec/files/aqc/mobilesources/documents/ Warranty.pdf

The vehicle should be driven under a variety of normal operating conditions in order for the OBD system to become ready. These operating conditions include a mix of highway driving and stop and go, city type driving, and at least one overnight-off period. Your vehicle owner’s manual should provide more specific information on getting your vehicle’s OBD system ready. For more information on readiness, please visit: http://dec.vermont.gov/ sites/dec/files/aqc/ mobile-sources/ documents/ Readiness.pdf

If your vehicle’s OBD system is not ready, the inspection of the OBD system cannot be completed. While this does not necessarily mean that your vehicle has a problem, it does indicate that your vehicle’s OBD system has not yet completed it’s tests, and problems may be present, but not yet identified. A recently disconnected or discharged (run down) battery, or recent servicing using a scan tool are the most likely reasons for a vehicle’s OBD system being “not ready.” Note that there are a few vehicles which should not be rejected as “not ready”. Ask your inspection station or the Department of Motor Vehicles for further information about these exceptions. 

  1. The vehicle’s OBD system connector has been removed or is otherwise not working properly. The OBD check cannot be completed if the connector is missing or is not working properly. 
  2. The Malfunction Indicator Light does not illuminate at all when the ignition key is turned to the “on” position. When the vehicle’s OBD system detects a problem, it turns on the warning light to alert the driver to a problem. However, if the light cannot illuminate because the bulb has burned out or is otherwise not working, the driver would not be alerted to the problem. 
  3. The Malfunction Indicator Light on the instrument panel is on (and/or commanded on by the vehicle’s on board computer) while the engine is running. This indicates that the OBD system has identified a problem which must be repaired. In this case, one or more diagnostic trouble codes will also be reported by the vehicle’s OBD system and these codes will help your technician diagnose and repair your vehicle. 

If your vehicle failed, it must be repaired in order to receive a new inspection sticker. Your vehicle should be repaired by a qualified, trained automotive service technician equipped with the appropriate diagnostic and repair tools. Depending on your vehicle’s age and mileage, repairs may be covered by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for specific information on warranty coverage.

First, the vehicle is checked to see if the Malfunction Indicator Light (commonly called the “check engine” or “service engine soon” light) on the instrument panel illuminates when the ignition key is turned to the “on” position and then when the engine is running. Next, an electronic device known as a scan tool is connected to the vehicle, and used to communicate with the vehicle’s on board computer. The on board computer is checked to confirm that the vehicle has completed self-tests, to determine if the computer has attempted to turn on the Malfunction Indicator Light, and if applicable, to retrieve diagnostic trouble codes. The results are recorded, and the scan tool is disconnected from the vehicle. The entire OBD check typically takes less than 5 minutes. 

Motor vehicles are the largest source of toxic and ozone-forming air pollutants in Vermont. While modern vehicles are getting much cleaner due to newer engine management technology and emission control components, emissions stay low only when all these systems are working properly. OBD technology helps to ensure that vehicles are operating as designed, and the OBD check ensures that the vehicle’s OBD system is doing its job. 

OBD technology was developed in the 1980s by vehicle manufacturers to help technicians diagnose and service the computerized engine management systems of modern vehicles. A new generation of OBD (often referred to as OBD II) is present on 1996 and newer vehicles. OBD II monitors all components of the engine management system and can detect a malfunction or deterioration of these components usually well before the driver becomes aware of any problem. When a problem is detected, the OBD system turns on a warning light on the instrument panel to alert the driver of the need to have the vehicle checked by a service technician. 

A scan tool with generic OBD II capability is necessary to perform the required check. A scan tool is a very useful device which is commonly used to assist in the diagnosis and repair of a variety of vehicle problems. Many inspection stations already own scan tools which can also be used to perform the required OBD check, but those inspection stations which do not will need to have one in order to inspect 1996 and newer vehicles. At a minimum, scan tools must be capable of :

  1. automatic initialization with any vehicle,
  2. determining readiness status of OBD monitors,
  3. determining malfunction indicator light status, and
  4. retrieving diagnostic trouble codes.

Any scan tool which complies with Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice J1978 is acceptable. Scan tools are available from a number of well known equipment manufacturers.

Tags: 

Contact Us

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

Monday-Friday: 7:45am-4:30pm
email telephone

Public Records

Connect with us

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon