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California regulators propose phasing out diesel-powered semi-trucks

Posted at 10:51 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 01:51:27-04

Some California regulators want to phase out diesel-powered big rigs and other trucks.

The plan calls for 100 percent of new semi-trucks to be zero emission by 2040.

Box trucks and delivery vans would have to switch even sooner.

The California Air Resources Board has unveiled new regulations that outline a full transition to zero-emission freight and cargo trucks.

“The lion’s share of pollution in California from vehicles comes from heavy-duty vehicles,” said Craig Segall, deputy executive officer for mobile sources and incentives at the California Air Resources Board. “Although we’ve done a great deal to clean them up, there’s a lot more to do.”

Here’s a breakdown of the proposal:

In 2024, all new box trucks, delivery vans, and freight trucks that travel short distances must be zero emission.

The remainder of the fleet will have to fully phase out gas and diesel by 2035.

City, county, and other state government trucks are required to be all-electric by 2027.

By 2040, all new big rigs must be zero emission and there are plans to fully phase out diesel-powered trucks by 2045.

“I think that this is a really important moment. One of the truths about California is that we really do move the nation’s freight. We have the largest ports and that means we have communities that bear the brunt of the pollution associated with that freight,” said Segall. “This is an extraordinary chance to do right by them while helping America move forward as a whole technologically.

The move would impact all big rigs that operate in California.

“The charging infrastructure is nearly non-existent and at the speeds that the trucks can charge today, drivers are gonna be waiting anywhere from two to four hours,” said Chris Shimoda, senior vice president of government affairs at the California Trucking Association.

“Really just the battery densities have to improve, the charging speeds have to get much faster. A diesel truck can refill in five to 15 minutes, not two to four hours.”

The California Trucking Association says that a lot of technological advancements need to happen for the plan to work.

“We do believe that there is a lot of promise in smaller class delivery vehicles, the types that do e-commerce deliveries that operate within a limited range of a home base and can come home to charge 8 to 10 hours overnight,” said Shimoda.

Around 1.8 million big rigs could be impacted by the requirement in California.

The California Air Resources Board will hold a public hearing on the proposal on October 27.

The public comment period is open now.