The California Air Resources Board has adopted a first-in-the-world rule—the Advanced Clean Trucks(earlier post)—requiring truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans (Class 2b to Class 8) to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024. By 2045, every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission.
The proposed regulation has two components including a manufacturer sales requirement, and a reporting requirement:
Zero-emission truck sales: Manufacturers who certify Class 2b-8 chassis or complete vehicles with combustion engines would be required to sell zero-emission trucks as an increasing percentage of their annual California sales from 2024 to 2035. By 2035, zero-emission truck/chassis sales would need to be 55% of Class 2b – 3 straight truck sales, 75% of Class 4 – 8 straight truck sales, and 40% of truck tractor sales.
Company and fleet reporting: Large employers including retailers, manufacturers, brokers and others would be required to report information about shipments and shuttle services. Fleet owners, with 50 or more trucks, would be required to report about their existing fleet operations. This information would help identify future strategies to ensure that fleets purchase available zero-emission trucks and place them in service where suitable to meet their needs.
Many California neighborhoods—especially communities of color, low-income and vulnerable communities—live, work, play and attend schools adjacent to the ports, railyards, distribution centers, and freight corridors and experience the heaviest truck traffic. This new rule directly addresses disproportionate risks and health and pollution burdens affecting these communities and puts California on the path for an all zero-emission short-haul drayage fleet in ports and railyards by 2035, and zero-emission “last-mile” delivery trucks and vans by 2040.
Trucks are the largest single source of air pollution from vehicles, responsible for 70% of the smog-causing pollution and 80% of carcinogenic diesel soot even though they number only 2 million among the 30 million (6.7%) registered vehicles in the state.
This requirement to shift to zero-emission trucks, along with the ongoing shift to electric cars, will help California meet its climate goals and federal air quality standards, especially in the Los Angeles region and the San Joaquin Valley—areas that suffer the highest levels of air pollution in the nation. Statewide, the Advanced Clean Truck regulation will lower related premature deaths by 1,000, according to CARB projections.
The rule phases in available heavy-duty zero-emission technology starting in 2024 with full transformation over the next two decades. This sends a clear signal to manufacturers, fleet owners and utilities that the time to invest in zero-emission trucks is now.
In the coming months, CARB will also consider two complementary regulations to support today’s action. The first sets a stringent new limit on NOx (oxides of nitrogen), one of the major precursors of smog. This will require that new trucks that still use fossil fuels include the most effective exhaust control technology during the transition to electric trucks. There is also a proposed requirement for larger fleets in the state to transition to electric trucks year over year.
The adoption of the new rule was preceded by multiple CARB regulations to transition to zero-emission passenger cars, cleaner diesel fuel and improved technologies to limit diesel emissions for all trucks and buses. Over the past few years, CARB has also set rules to electrify buses used by transit agencies and shuttles at the state’s largest airports by 2030.