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Illinoisans want more electric trucks, less smog and air pollution, new poll finds

Posted by Tatyana Masters on Jul 21, 2022

7 in 10 Illinoisans say that state officials should be doing more to reduce emissions from gas and diesel vehicles, transition to zero-emission models

JULY 21, 2022 – Roughly 7 in 10 Illinoisans say smog and air pollution are negatively impacting their quality of life, and want state officials to do more to decrease the gas and diesel vehicle emissions causing much of the problem.

The findings are part of a new statewide survey conducted by YouGov in partnership with national business association Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and come just a month after the American Lung Association listed the Chicago metro area as having the 16th-worst ozone pollution in the nation.

"Transportation emissions are the largest source of pollution, particularly from trucks and buses, and parts of Illinois are suffering from unsafe levels of ozone, particularly during the summer,” said Ryan Gallentine, Transportation Policy Director at AEE. “Illinoisans say they want their state leaders to take action by electrifying the state’s trucks, buses and delivery vans more quickly.”

Survey highlights: 

    • 72 percent of Illinoisans agree that state officials should be doing more to decrease emissions from gas and diesel vehicles. 
    • 70 percent of Illinoisans agree that state officials should be doing more to transition vehicles in the state to zero-emission vehicles 
    • 66 percent of Illinoisans agree that state officials should work to ensure as many electric vehicle models as possible are available for residents and businesses.  

Additionally, the survey found that a majority of Illinoisans agree that the state should adopt Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rules that require auto manufacturers who sell medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (like vans, trucks, and buses) to sell zero-emissions vehicles as an increasing percentage of their annual sales from 2024 to 2035. The poll found that 54 percent of those surveyed were in support of the requirements, 19 percent were unsure, and 27 percent were in opposition.

“This poll shows the Pritzker administration would have public support for adopting the Advanced Clean Trucks rule immediately,” Gallentine said. “We all see the toxic fumes from trucks when they’re driving on the highway or idling in our community. Transitioning to electric vehicles will help create a healthier future with a better economy and less pollution.”

New research by NRDC found that adopting an Advanced Clean Trucks rule would significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) emissions in Illinois, resulting in 765 fewer premature deaths, 874 fewer hospital visits from breathing polluted air, and 481,090 fewer cases of acute bronchitis, exacerbated asthma, and other respiratory symptoms causing restricted activity and lost workdays.

Click here to view the survey results.

This poll was commissioned by AEE Institute and conducted by YouGov using a statewide representative sample of 600 Illinois residents interviewed online between June 8 – 16, 2022. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all registered Illinois voters. The margin of error (at 95 percent confidence interval) is +/- 4.52 percent. 

Topics: Press Releases, Electric Vehicles, Ryan Gallentine, Illinois