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National Review
National Review
29 Apr 2023
Caroline Downey

NextImg:California Approves Regulation to Phase Out Diesel Trucks by 2036

California air regulators on Friday voted to ban diesel truck sales by 2036.

The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the measure called Advanced Clean Fleets, which would prohibit the sale of new diesel big rigs by 2036 and force trucks to produce zero-emissions by 2042. New commercial trucks, such as garbage trucks, delivery trucks and other medium and heavy-duty vehicles, would need to convert to electric under the rule, CNBC reported.

“The initial focus would be on high-priority fleets with vehicles that are suitable for early electrification, their subhaulers, and entities that hire them,” the website outlining the program states. “The goal of this effort is to accelerate the number of medium and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle purchases to achieve a full transition to zero-emission vehicles in California as soon as possible.”

Ending diesel truck sales in such a dramatic timeline is part of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to crackdown on pollution in the state. Critics claim the transition will be extremely costly and burdensome for the industry, which also does not yet have the infrastructure to support zero-emission trucks. Drayage trucks, which transport cargo to and from major ports, must become electric 2035, and their new sales must be zero-emissions as early as 2024.

The American Trucking Association slammed California’s adoption of the regulation, which now must be approved or rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency within the Biden administration. Given that the trucks are significantly more expensive and “charging and refueling infrastructure is nonexistent,” the cost will be passed down to the consumer, the organization argued.

“California is setting unrealistic targets and unachievable timelines that will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for the goods and services delivered to the state and fewer options for consumers,” American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said in a statement. “As it becomes clear that California’s rhetoric is not being matched by technology, we hope the Board will reverse course and allow trucking companies the freedom to choose the clean technologies that work best for their operations.”

Newsom has had tunnel vision for aggressively pursuing environmental goals and climate mitigation in his state, despite California’s soaring crime, cost of living, homelessness, and other debilitating issues.

“The future happens here first, and California is once again showing the world what real climate action looks like,” Newsom said. “Last year, our state approved one of the world’s first regulations requiring all new car sales to be zero emissions. Now, with these actions requiring all new heavy-duty truck sales to be zero emission and tackling train pollution in our state, we’re one step closer to achieving healthier neighborhoods and cleaner air for all Californians.”

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