Why Now?

Dirty cars are the top threat to air quality and the climate

  • Transportation is Nevada’s biggest source of air pollution and greenhouse gases. Most of the emissions in this sector come from gas-powered cars. According to the 2019 Nevada Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Projections, transportation will remain the top source of climate emissions for the state in the next decade unless we act now.

  • The 2019 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association gave Clark and Washoe Counties an F grade for ozone pollution, also called smog, and vehicle emissions are a primary cause. 

  • Air pollution from gas-powered cars including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds can worsen health problems. Children, the elderly, and people with conditions such as asthma or heart disease have a harder time breathing with these pollutants in the air. Low-income families and communities of color are often closer to major roads and bear the brunt of these health issues.

  • Clean Car Standards would help reduce these pollutants from passenger vehicles and give Nevadans the option to drive cleaner cars.

Nevada is charting a path toward a cleaner future

Adopting the Clean Car Standards is the next stop on Nevada’s road toward achieving its clean energy and climate goals, and builds on years of action to support electric vehicles.
  • In 2015, then-Governor Sandoval and NV Energy announced a partnership to complete an electric highway system connecting Reno and Las Vegas. They then expanded that vision to have electric vehicle charging along every major highway in the state – a goal which will be achieved by the end of 2020. 

  • In late 2018, the Governor’s Office of Energy commissioned a report looking at opportunities to accelerate the electrification of transportation.

  • Last year, Governor Sisolak announced that Nevada would join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 23 governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 – a goal consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

  • Governor Sisolak joined Nevada to the Nation’s Clean Car Promise, a coalition supporting stronger national vehicle emissions standards.

  • The 2019 Nevada Legislature passed bills committing the state to get at least half of the state’s energy from renewable sources such as solar by 2030 and setting goals to reach 100 percent clean energy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Governor Sisolak signed both  into law.

  • When the Trump Administration revoked California’s waiver to implement its Clean Car Standards, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a multistate lawsuit challenging the decision.

  • In November 2019, Governor Sisolak signed an executive order directing agencies to develop a State Climate Strategy by December 2020 to reach greenhouse gas goals. At the press conference announcing the executive order, he said “I’m excited to announce that Nevada will stand with other leading states and begin moving towards stronger vehicle emission standards”

  • After supporting electric vehicles in so many ways over the past few years, it’s time for Nevada to take the next step: passing the Clean Car Standards. By joining over a dozen other states in this commitment to more low-emission and electric cars on the road, Nevada can continue its climate leadership and keep its residents healthy with cleaner air.

Nevadans deserve access to affordable electric vehicle options

  • There are over 40 electric vehicle models available nationwide, but just 3 are available for sale at dealerships in the Reno area, and only 12 are available in Las Vegas. For Nevadans outside these two cities, it can be impossible to find even a single electric vehicle model nearby.

  • The lack of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for sale in Nevada—both new and used—means that consumers have to travel to neighboring states such as California to test drive and purchase these cars. This results in fewer options, higher prices, and Nevadans spending money out of state rather than at local dealerships.

  • Once the Clean Car Standards are adopted, about 6  to 8 percent of all vehicles manufacturers deliver to Nevada dealerships in 2025 will be electric. This is equivalent to about 10,600 plug-in cars, which is almost five times more than the 2,300 electric cars sold in Nevada in 2018.

  • The price of electric vehicles continues to fall as more models enter the market, with one model coming in under $24,000. Bringing more electric vehicles to Nevada will continue to bring prices down and make them accessible to everybody.

Washington is gridlocked, but states are charging forward

  • Unfortunately, the current leadership at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not only stopped its efforts to encourage cleaner cars- it has also tried to take away states’ rights under the Clean Air Act to adopt these standards. Multiple states, including Nevada, are taking the EPA to court to get the decision overturned.
  • Once the federal government restores states’ right to set stronger vehicle emission standards, Nevada will have the opportunity to adopt the Clean Car Standards. New Mexico and Minnesota have both committed to pursuing these standards once they’re able.
StateLEV ProgramZEV Program
MinnesotaUnder considerationUnder consideration
New Jersey
New MexicoUnder considerationUnder consideration
New York
Rhode Island
WashingtonUnder consideration