Clean Cars Yield $178 Billion in Benefits for Illinois

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Illinois has an important opportunity to provide significant air quality, health, and economic benefits to its residents by adopting the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) standard.

Under this standard, manufacturers will sell increasingly higher percentages of new zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in each model year (MY), starting with 43 percent new ZEV sales in MY 2027. Under a full ACC II rule, auto manufacturers will need to sell 100% new ZEVs by MY 2035. Under ACC II, ZEVs include battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

A new analysis from ERM, commissioned by the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), shows the significant potential public health, environmental, and economic benefits that adopting the full ACC II program could bring to Illinois under different scenarios.

Policy Scenarios

The report evaluated the following scenarios:

  • Baseline: All new light-duty vehicles sold in Illinois continue to meet existing vehicle standards. ZEV sales increase but are capped at one-third of new vehicle sales each year.
  • ACC II Flex: Illinois starts implementing ACC II in MY 2027, and vehicle manufacturers use many of the available compliance flexibilities such that they sell fewer ZEVs than is nominally required by the regulation.
  • ACC II Flex + Clean Grid: Illinois starts implementing ACC II in MY 2027 and reaches 100% clean electricity generation by 2040. Manufacturers use many of the available compliance flexibilities.
  • ACC II Full + Clean Grid: Illinois starts implementing ACC II in MY 2027 and reaches 100% clean electricity generation by 2040. Manufacturers do not use any of the compliance flexibilities.

Public Health & The Environment

Compared to the Baseline scenario, by 2050 the ACC II scenarios with a clean grid are estimated to reduce annual LDV fleet NOx emissions by 97% and PM emissions by 95%. The impact on Illinois residents cannot be understated. This would deliver much cleaner air and better health for all residents: The resulting cumulative public health benefits for all scenarios between 2027 and 2050 include 416 to 450 fewer premature deaths, 420 to 456 fewer hospital visits, and 246,263 to 266,490 fewer minor cases of illness. The value of these public health benefits totals between $5.5 billion and $5.9 billion.

Compared to the Baseline scenario, under the ACC II scenarios cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from Illinois’s light-duty fleet reach between 335 and 377 million metric tons of CO2e from 2027 through 2050. The benefits of these GHG emissions reductions are valued at $29.4 billion to $32.7 billion.

Economic Impacts

By the time ACC II is launched, in MY 2027, the average light-duty ZEV in Illinois will save its owner approximately $19,000 in lifetime costs compared to a conventional vehicle. Drivers purchasing a ZEV in MY 2030 or after could save up to $21,000 in lifetime costs.

For rural Illinoisans, who are assumed to prefer a longer-range ZEV with higher up-front costs, an MY 2027 ZEV will save its owner $10,000 over its lifetime compared to a gasoline vehicle, and for an MY 2030 ZEV, lifetime costs will be about $18,500 lower. Rural drivers of ZEVs purchased after MY 2030 will enjoy total savings of more than $22,000.

Under the ACC II Flex scenarios, annual net utility revenue from light-duty electric vehicle charging is projected to be $50 million in 2030, $477 million in 2040, and over $598 million in 2050. The ACC II Full + Clean Grid scenario increases net utility revenue in 2030 to $82 million, with $494 million in revenue in 2040, and over $600 million in 2050.

Since ACC II will likely increase utility net revenue as it electrifies Illinois’s LDV fleet, Illinois’s average residential and commercial rates could be 2.3% lower by 2050. The average Illinois household could therefore save $42 each year on its electricity bill, and the average commercial customer $356 each year.

The deployment of ZEV charging infrastructure will also bring substantial investments to the state. Implementing ACC II will require up to 5.4 million in-use charge plugs. Purchasing and installing these chargers will bring approximately $14 billion in cumulative investment by 2050.

Adopting ACC II will result in a net increase of more than 18,212 jobs nationally by 2030. Average wages for the new jobs created are expected to be about 50% higher than average wages for the jobs that will be replaced.

Conclusion

Taken together, the cumulative net societal benefits by 2050 reach $168.8 billion under the ACC II Flex scenario, $169.9 billion under the ACC II Flex + Clean Grid scenario, and $178 billion (about $550 per person in the US) under the ACC II Full + Clean Grid scenario.

To fully capture the most benefits, Illinois must adopt ACC II before the end of this year so that it is implemented starting in MY 2027. This way, Illinoisans can fully receive the significant public health, climate, and economic benefits as the state transitions to a clean transportation system.

Originally published on NRDC Expert Blog. By Muhammed Patel, Midwest Clean Vehicle Advocate, Climate & Clean Energy Program

 


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