California bans sale of new diesel big rigs after 2036, existing fleets must be replaced by "zero-emission" vehicles by 2042
· Apr 30, 2023 ·

California bureaucrats approved a measure Friday that bans the sale of new diesel semi trucks in the state past 2036.

From KRON 4:

Under the proposal, in 2036, 100% of new sales of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks must be zero emissions in California, scaling up from phased-in timelines that vary by the type of truck. The rules also would force companies that operate 50 or more trucks to gradually convert their fleets into electric or hydrogen models, reaching 100% zero-emissions by 2042, with these timelines also based on the type of truck.

The new rule from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) also mandates that 50% of all government vehicle purchases must be zero-emission by 2024 and 100% by 2027.

The board also voted the day before to limit train emissions.

The trucking industry is aghast at the news, citing the extremely high cost of electric semi trailers and the very limited range, in addition to issues with charging availability and the time that must be spent plugged in to replenish the batteries.

"The amount of chaos and dysfunction that is going to be created by this rule will be like nothing we've ever seen before," said Chris Shimoda, senior vice president of the California Trucking Association, an industry trade group. "The likelihood that it is going to fail pretty spectacularly is very high. It's very unfortunate."

The American Trucking Association released a scathing rebuke of the new rule on Friday as well.

"Today, an unelected Board in California voted to force trucking companies to buy zero-emission trucks," said President and CEO Chris Spear. "Fleets are just beginning to understand what it takes to successfully operate these trucks, but what they have learned so far is they are significantly more expensive, charging and refueling infrastructure is nonexistent, and ZEVs are not necessarily a one-for-one replacement — meaning more trucks will be needed on California roads to move the same amount of freight."

Spear said the state's "rhetoric is not being matched by technology," and that the rule will lead to much higher costs of goods for the citizens of California.

"Over the past 35 years, [our] efforts have produced a 98% reduction in truck emissions," he continued. "We continue to say ‘Yes' to advancing cleaner technologies, but achievable targets and realistic timelines matter."

California's mandate is the first in the world of its kind.

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