California Ahead of Schedule for Goal of 100 Percent Zero-Emission Trucks by 2045

California Ahead of Schedule for Goal of 100 Percent Zero-Emission Trucks by 2045

A semi-trailer truck arrives at the Port of Long Beach on Oct. 14, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

10/24/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

California surpassed its 2025 requirements for zero-emission truck sales two years early, according to the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), who both made announcements Oct. 23.
Under the regulation which was unanimously approved by CARB in 2020, the state aims to have 100 percent of all “medium and heavy duty” trucks—from large pickups to buses, dump trucks, and semi-trucks—sold to be zero-emission by 2045.
The recent milestone comes from a CARB report that revealed 7.5 percent of new trucks sold in 2022 were zero-emission, already surpassing the 6 percent sales objective by 2024, according to Mr. Newsom’s office.
“We’re cleaning up California’s air by getting more clean vehicles on the road, and we’re doing it years ahead of schedule,” Mr. Newsom said in a statement.
The trucks, primarily used for the transportation of goods across the state, were dominated by vehicle manufacturers Rivian and Ford, which accounted for 94 percent of the 7,427 total zero-emission trucks sold, according to the CARB report.
Officials from the air resources board said the recent success is a good indicator that truck drivers, companies, and manufacturers are interested in going electric.
“The report makes several important points: users are interested in adopting zero-emissions technology; several manufacturers are stepping up to meet that market interest; and the flexibility that we built in to allow for a phased-in transition toward a zero-emissions future is working,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, CARB’s executive officer, in the announcement.
Trucks drive through the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on March 31, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Trucks drive through the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on March 31, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The initiative is the world’s first zero-emission commercial truck requirement, which has specific goals for such commercial truck sales to increase each year between 2024 and 2035.
The regulation aims to have 55 percent of all trucks sold weighing between 8,500 to 14,000 pounds—such as large pick-ups—to be zero-emission by 2035. In addition, 75 percent of all trucks sold weighing 14,000 pounds and above—such as UPS trucks, school buses, fire trucks, and cement trucks—as well as 40 percent of tractors sold, will be required to be zero-emission by the same year.
According to CARB, there are currently around 150 different models of commercial zero-emission trucks available.
“Helping the businesses that rely on trucks to transport goods across the state switch to zero emissions is key to achieving a clean air future, and the data show that progress is well underway,” Mr. Cliff said in the same announcement.
While trucks only make up 6 percent of vehicles on the road in California, they account for over 35 percent of the state’s vehicle-produced nitrogen oxide emissions and one fourth of the greenhouse gas emissions, according to CARB officials.
A large rental truck in Pomona, Calif., on Aug. 31, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A large rental truck in Pomona, Calif., on Aug. 31, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Besides setting sales requirements for work trucks, California is also requiring fleets of such trucks to phase into 100 percent zero-emission by 2045, with state funds to help purchasers.
So far, California has distributed more than $780 million to help fleet operators purchase zero-emission trucks according to Mr. Newsom’s office. The funds come from Mr. Newsom’s $52 billion climate investment plan, which includes over $10 billion to help transition to zero-emission vehicles and build charging infrastructure.
Under the CARB-approved plan for zero-emission fleets, the highest polluting fleets have earlier targets, such as last mile delivery (warehouse and supermarket) and yard trucks, which must transition by 2035. Work trucks and day cab semis only have until 2039, while sleeper cabs and specialty vehicles, such as ambulances, have until 2042.
CARB officials estimate under the new regulations, California will see about 1.7 million zero-emission trucks on the road by 2050.
Last year, the board also approved a plan for all new cars and light trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, by 2035. Under the new rule, vehicles by model year 2030 are required to maintain at least 80 percent of their electric range for a minimum of 10 years or 150,000 miles to provide better warranties for drivers.
As of August, over 25 percent of new cars sold in California were zero-emission, a strong start for the state which is required to have 35 percent of all new sales be such by 2026 under the plan.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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