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Zero Emission Vehicles

Vermont’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program, authorized under section 177 of the Clean Air Act, has been a centerpiece of Vermont’s air quality efforts since 1996.  The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which is a technology-forcing component of the LEV program, has been a major contributor to the successful commercialization of hybrid-electric vehicles and ultra-low-emission technologies. To date, 16 states have adopted the ZEV Program (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington). 

The ZEV program requires increasing sales of ZEVs over the next decade.  The annual sales requirements in state programs are modest at the outset, but increase over time, anticipating that consumer demand will expand as consumers become more familiar with a growing range of continually improving ZEV products.  The ZEV program provides manufacturers substantial flexibility through mechanisms such as credit banking and trading, alternative compliance options, cross-state credit pooling, and by allowing manufacturers to develop their preferred compliance strategy using Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), or some combination.   

The number and type of ZEV models available will continue to increase as car companies develop a portfolio of ZEV technologies to match their full product lines, which will further enhance consumer choice and market growth. While not all ZEV models are currently offered for sale in Vermont, substantial growth in the number of electric vehicles has occurred in Vermont.

Chart depicting number of EVs registered in Vermont by quarterGraph showing breakdown of EVs by type, BEV or PHEV, registered in VermontGraph showing absolute increase of EVs registered in Vermont by quarter

Note: The data source used to create the graphs above is the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles motor vehicle registration system.  The registration system was upgraded November 13, 2023.


ZEV Credits - In complying with the ZEV Regulation, Large and Intermediate Volume manufacturers supply vehicles in Vermont which generate credits based on vehicle type. Small Volume manufacturers without a formal obligation to supply vehicles may also earn credits that may be banked or sold. 

Drive Electric Vermont - A statewide coalition of stakeholders from the business, nonprofit, and government sectors dedicated to promoting the spread of electric transportation in Vermont. DEV provides information (buying guides, incentives, charging station locator, etc.) and hosts events and demo days around the state to educate Vermonters about electric vehicle technology and its benefits to our transportation sector.

Vermont ZEV Action Plan - In 2013, Vermont and seven other states agreed to create a collaborative Zero Emission Vehicle program aimed at putting 3.3 million ZEVs on the road by 2025. A Vermont Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan has been created in response, which includes Vermont-specific actions that address the goals put forth in the eight-state action plan.  As a result of the Vermont ZEV Action Plan, the Guidance for Requirements to be Included in State Grants for Publicly Funded Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) was created.

Multi-State ZEV Task Force - Vermont is collaborating with seven other states to promote ZEVs. The states have committed to having 3.3 million of these vehicles on the road by 2025. The signatory governors created a multi-state ZEV Program Implementation Task Force to development an action plan. The Task Force, composed of state officials, serves as a forum for coordination and collaboration on the full range of program development, support, and implementation issues to promote effective and efficient implementation of ZEV regulatory initiatives.