Does New Hampshire Have a ZEV Mandate?

Direct answer: No, New Hampshire currently does not have a ZEV mandate.

If you’re curious about the state’s efforts toward sustainable transportation and clean energy, this post will enlighten you.

We’ll discuss the challenges faced in implementing a zero-emission vehicle mandate, explore attempts that fell short like HB92, and delve into existing programs encouraging electric vehicle use.

As someone invested in environmental regulations and green initiatives, you’ll appreciate this comprehensive look at New Hampshire’s transportation policy landscape.

By the end of this read, you’ll gain a unique understanding of where New Hampshire stands in its journey toward renewable energy sources.

New Hampshire State map cutout with New Hampshire flag superimposed

Key Takeaways

1New Hampshire does not currently have a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. It is the only state in New England and, as of mid-2023, the northeast without this regulation.
2While part of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, New Hampshire has not committed to a regional clean energy strategy like its peers. The state government has vetoed bills aimed at transitioning to ZEVs, such as replacing all state fleet vehicles with ZEVs.
3Despite lacking a ZEV mandate, programs are in place to encourage electric vehicle adoption. Initiatives like the NHEC rebate offer members a $1,000 reduction per qualified EV. Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to transition towards an all-ZEV state fleet vehicle by 2042.

Understanding the ZEV Mandate and New Hampshire’s Current Position

To understand why it’s significant that New Hampshire lacks a ZEV mandate, one must first grasp the concept of a zero-emission vehicle mandate.

Essentially, this is an environmental regulation put in place by various U.S. states to combat climate change by encouraging or requiring automakers to sell more electric vehicles. A good example of this can be found in California’s ZEV program.

Looking at New Hampshire specifically, research has shown that it does not currently have a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. This sets New Hampshire apart as the only state in New England—and as of mid-2023, the only state in the northeast—that does not have such a program in place.

Considering that other states are taking strong strides towards clean energy and sustainable transportation, this puts New Hampshire behind when it comes to green initiatives.

It is noteworthy, however, that while there is no specific ZEV mandate, there are certain programs within New Hampshire aimed at encouraging electric vehicle adoption. For instance, the NHEC offers members a rebate of $1,000 per qualified EV.

Exploring the Transportation and Climate Initiative and Regional Clean Energy Strategies

While lacking a direct ZEV mandate, New Hampshire shows commitment to clean energy through its participation in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI).

This regional collaboration aims to reduce carbon emissions from transportation—a sector responsible for about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions—by promoting cleaner and more efficient transportation technologies.

However, unlike other states participating in TCI—like Massachusetts or Connecticut which have implemented their own clean energy strategies—New Hampshire has yet to take concrete steps on developing its own regional clean energy strategy.

This means less emphasis on renewable energy sources compared to peers.

Nevertheless, being part of TCI indicates an awareness from New Hampshire’s officials regarding climate change issues tied with transportation policy – even if they are yet to convert this into solid action plans.

The Unsuccessful Journey of HB92: A Missed Opportunity for ZEVs in New Hampshire

Despite not having an official ZEV mandate like many other US states, efforts have been made within New Hampshire to introduce similar legislation aimed at increasing electric vehicle usage.

In 2023, HB92 was introduced proposing manufacturers receive credits for Low Emission Vehicle (LEV)/ZEV vehicles delivered to New Hampshire starting January 1st, 2022. If passed successfully, it could’ve been pivotal towards boosting renewable energy use within transport sector.

Unfortunately for supporters of greener policies though, governor vetoed bill aiming replacing all state fleet vehicles with zero-emission ones – striking another blow against hopes for establishing stronger environmental regulations within state.

Existing Incentive Programs for Electric Vehicles:

A Glimpse of Hope Amidst Inaction.

Even though there’s no specific mandates necessitating use zero emission vehicles , there seems glimmer hope form incentive programs exist encouraging electric vehicle adoption . For instance NHEC – cooperative utility serving large portion population offers members rebate $1k per qualified EV .

These incentives provide potential drivers financial relief when purchasing new EVs acting catalyst towards wider acceptance electric vehicles . Certainly while these incentives don’t quite equate comprehensive statewide strategy , they do signal willingness among some organizations promote sustainable transportation solutions amidst broader political inertia .

One can hope over time such initiatives could lead eventual establishment statewide mandates similar those seen across many US states help drive significant reductions vehicular emissions contributing cleaner greener environment .

Looking Ahead: The Transition to an All-ZEV State Fleet in NH by 2042

Despite setbacks like the vetoing of the HB92 bill, legislators have set an ambitious goal of transitioning all state fleet vehicles to zero-emission ones by 2042. This demonstrates a long-term commitment to reducing the carbon footprint, despite a lack of legislative support in the short term.

Achieving this transition will need considerable planning and investment in infrastructure, including charging stations and training for maintenance staff, to ensure smooth running of an all-electic fleet.

It will also require buy-in from various stakeholders ranging from automotive manufacturers to utility providers who need to align their offerings to meet the growing demand for green initiatives.

While it’s a daunting task, NH’s proposed transition could serve as a model for other states looking to implement their own green vehicle fleets in the future – particularly those currently lacking any form of ZEV mandate.


Despite various attempts and existing programs encouraging electric vehicle adoption, New Hampshire still lags behind its peers in Northeast with no concrete Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate as of mid-2023.

The state’s reluctance to fully commit to developing a regional clean energy strategy or transition towards an all-ZEV state fleet by 2042 reflects a significant gap in its climate action efforts.

Jonathan Rice

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