Electric Trucks Get Real Boost From California With New Zero Emission Truck Program

California has adopted its new zero-emission truck program, which should help accelerate the production and deployment of electric trucks.

In many markets, trucks represent a major source of pollution.

This is certainly the case in California, where trucks are responsible for “70 percent of the pollution caused by smog and 80 percent of the diesel carcinogenic soot, even though they number only 2 million among the 30 million vehicles registered in the state”.

To remedy the situation, the California Air Resources Board has officially adopted a clean truck standard, the first of its kind.

CARB President Mary D. Nichols commented on the initiative:

“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. 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. Now is the time: the technology is here and so is the need for investment. “

The program is similar to CARB’s ZEV program for passenger cars, which has made California the leader in electric vehicles in the U.S.

The clean truck program will force Class 2b (larger trucks) manufacturers to Class 8 chassis (semi trucks) to gradually increase the percentage of electric trucks selling from 2024.

They wrote in the new program:

Zero Emission Truck Sales: Manufacturers certifying 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 emissions truck / chassis sales should be 55% of Class 2b – 3 straight truck sales, 75% of Class 4 – 8 straight truck sales and 40% of Tractor sales of trucks ”.

The regulation is estimated to bring more than 300,000 electric trucks, including 17,000 semi trucks, to California by 2035.

By 2045, they want every new truck sold in California to have zero emissions.

The taking of Electrek

While this sounds like great news, I’m not sure it will have a big impact, it certainly doesn’t look like the ZEV regulations on electric passenger cars at all.

They are giving truck manufacturers a break as requirements begin in 2024 despite several electric trucks expected to roll out in the coming years.

I think those electric trucks, like the Tesla Cybertruck, which is a class 2B, and Tesla Semi, which is a class 8, will be popular regardless of the new rule and will likely cover the requirements.

Tesla even argued with CARB that the requirements for class 2B vehicles should be included in the program earlier because of the electric pickups, such as the Cybertruck, which will hit the market starting in 2021.

In summary, I believe that fully electric trucks are going to be much better than diesel trucks in the coming years that all new trucks will be electric by 2045, regardless of this new program.

In fact, I think all new trucks will be electric by 2030.

It is quite simple. As soon as they allow long distances, which seems just around the corner, and the cost of ownership falls below diesel trucks, it wouldn’t make sense for a fleet operator to buy anything else.

What you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

FTC: We use automatic affiliate links that generate income. Plus.

Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.