The California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed a new rule that says all commercial trucks and vans sold in the state in 2045 must have zero emissions, in a bid to steer the industry away from dirty and harmful diesel engines. that currently feed more of these vehicles
It is the first such rule in the United States, and it follows California’s 2018 decision to require transit agencies to purchase all-electric buses starting in 2029, as well as its long-standing zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) program. dating for passenger cars and trucks
Other milestones will need to be reached in the years leading up to that date, too. California regulators require that half of all trucks sold in the state must have zero emissions by 2035. All short-distance transportation vehicles in rail ports and yards must also have zero emissions by 2035, and all delivery trucks Last mile and trucks must be changed by 2040. Smaller sales requirements will take effect from 2024.
It is a bold move that should help curb one of the most polluting sectors of the transportation industry. Although they only account for 7 percent of vehicles on the road in California, diesel trucks account for 70 percent of the state pollution that causes the pollution and 80 percent of the soot emitted, according to CARB.
California’s new rule could also have much broader consequences, thanks to its role as a standard carrier of clean air regulations. To date, 14 other states have adopted its progressive ZEV program for passenger vehicles, which launched in the early 1990s and has spurred automakers to develop hybrid and all-electric cars. And last year, in the face of the Trump administration’s pushback of an Obama-era fuel economy standard intended to combat the climate crisis, California developed its own rule that Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda have signed.
With that in mind, California says it is already in talks with seven states and the District of Columbia, which may adopt the new zero-emission transportation rule, according to The New York Times.
The new commercial transportation standard also represents a step forward in the fight for environmental justice, as air pollution from delivery centers and ports disproportionately harms California’s black, Asian and Latino communities.
“For decades, as the car has become cleaner and more efficient, the other half of our transportation system has barely moved the needle with clean air,” said Mary Nichols, director of CARB, in a statement. “Diesel vehicles are the workhorses of the economy, and we need them to be part of the solution to the persistent pockets of dirty air in some of our most disadvantaged communities.”
Trucking industry groups rejected CARB’s development of the rule. But several manufacturers already have zero-emission trucks and vans on the way, with many more to come. They are being developed and designed by established companies like China’s Daimler, Tesla, Volvo, and BYD, and by startups like Chanje, Arrival, Nikola, and Rivian (which is building 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon).