Truck makers agree to phase out gas powered vehicles to comply with new CA rules

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STATEWIDE – The California Air Resources Board (CARB), announced Thursday, an agreement to stop selling new gas-powered vehicles in California by 2036 to help the state meet emissions standards. 

In April, CARB announced the sale of all new diesel big rig trucks and buses will be banned in the state starting in 2036. 

Under these new regulations, CARB aims to achieve a zero-emissions truck and bus fleet by 2045. In addition, the agency wants 1.6 million zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks operating in the state by 2048.

At that time, CARB did not provide guidance on how the new regulations could be implemented. 

Clean Truck Partnership

Manufacturers including Daimler Trucks (Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Western Star), Volvo Trucks (Volvo, Mack Trucks) PACCAR (Kenworth, Peterbilt) and other major truck makers agreed to the Clean Truck Partnership.

The agreement addresses the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) concerns on implementing the new regulations including lead time to meet emission standards. 

It also relaxes regulations for nitrogen oxide emissions and commits the manufacturers to comply with regulations – regardless of challenges to California’s authority on setting standards.

RELATED: Grant programs for diesel engine upgrades now accepting applications

Prevents Future Litigation

CARB says the partnership will prevent lawsuits that may want to block the state’s emission standards.

In 2019, under the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked California’s Clean Air Act waiver. The waiver gave California the authority to set and enforce more stringent emission standards than the federal government. 

Although the EPA issued a notice of decision to reinstate the waiver in 2022, California says the new Clean Truck Partnership marks major truck manufacturers’ commitment to sell and adopt zero-emissions technology, regardless of challenges to the state’s authority to set more stringent emissions standards.

In addition, EMA previously filed a lawsuit opposing a 2 year lead time to meet emissions standards. The Clean Truck Partnership agreement sets a 4 year lead time. 

Opposition to the Clean Truck Partnership

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird said California green energy rules could wreck the trucking industry.

“Due to the Biden administration’s waiver, it is likely that these rules will impact not just California, but America in its entirety. Since California has such a large economy – the fifth largest in the world – its radical climate-change agenda influences the entire trucking industry,” said Bird.

Bird says states are forced to comply with California’s zero-emissions standards to compete in the market. 

“This incentivizes truck manufacturing companies to spike prices for gas and diesel vehicles so that Americans won’t buy them,” said Bird.

Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington already adopted California’s truck ban.  

Other concerns include battery recharging time and the durability of zero emission vehicles.

To read the full Clean Truck Partnership visit https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2023-07/Final%20Agreement%20between%20CARB%20and%20EMA%202023_06_27.pdf

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