Similar to the Clean Air Act of the 1990's national impact on diesel engine regulation and creating the eventual establishment of the regulatory tiers the industry lives with today, changes to vehicle emissions is being driven by California.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently adopted a rule requiring truck manufacturers to transition to electric trucks beginning in 2024. The industry believe that by 2045, almost every new truck sold in California will be electric. More specifically, the path includes zero-emission short-haul fleets in ports and rail yards by 2035, and zero-emission “last-mile” delivery trucks and vans by 2040.
"Manufacturers who certify Class 2b to 8 chassis or complete vehicles will 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 truck sales, 75% of Class 4 – 8 straight truck sales, and 40% of truck tractor sales." The regulation states.
CARB has established a template that other states, if they choose to adopt for themselves, can follow. Some reports following the rule announcement indicate that at least seven states and the District of Columbia are looking at adopting similar legislation.
This hasn't sat well with industry members as they question the intent and timing of the ruling. Jed Mandel, president of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Assn. said, “the mandate is flawed. There is no charging infrastructure, there is inadequate incentive funding available for buyers and zero-emission trucks cost more than traditional fuel trucks.”
CARB is also considering two other regulations. The first setting a new limit on NOx one of the major precursors of smog and pollution. This will require new fossil fuel based trucks to utilize 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.
More information on the scope of the CARB ruling can be found here.