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CARB Approves Regulation Phasing Out Dirty Combustion Trucks

Recently, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved world-leading regulation to phase out the sales of medium and heavy-duty combustion trucks in California by 2036. The action is designed to move the state forward on an ambitious plan to dramatically cut pollution, protect public health and accelerate the transition to clean vehicles. CARB also approved first-in-the-nation regulation to limit train pollution.

Known as Advanced Clean Fleets, the new rule puts the state on a path toward accomplishing Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal of fully transitioning the medium and heavy-duty trucks that travel California roads to zero-emissions technology by 2045, providing major fleet operators – including state, local and federal government fleets – with different options to begin transitioning next year.

For example:

Drayage trucks (i.e., big rigs), local delivery and government fleets must transition by 2035;

Garbage trucks must be zero-emission by 2039;

And all other vehicles covered by the regulation must be zero-emission by 2042.

“The future happens here first, and California is once again showing the world what real climate action looks like,” Gov. 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.”

The new regulation aims to protect some of California’s most vulnerable communities that sit near trucking corridors and warehouse locations and have some of the worst air in the nation. While trucks represent only six percent of California vehicles, they represent a quarter of the state’s on-road greenhouse gas emissions and over a third of the state’s emissions of the harmful air pollutant NOx. The new rule is expected to generate $26.6 billion in health savings, and fleet owners will save an estimated $48 billion from the transition to cleaner vehicles.

This adds to California’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule, approved by the Biden Administration, which requires manufacturers to accelerate sales of new zero emissions heavy-duty trucks by 2035. The two regulations work in tandem to drastically cut air pollution – especially in disadvantaged communities – and achieve the vision for ZEVs in California.

California also paved the way for lower emissions from rail transportation, with CARB adopting a nation-leading regulation to accelerate cleaner locomotive technologies, limit idling and require newly built passenger and freight trains to be zero emission by 2030, and 2035, respectively. The reduced nitrogen oxide and diesel pollution – of which there is no known safe level of exposure – will bring an estimated $32 billion in health savings by preventing 3,200 premature deaths and 1,500 emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

California achieved its goal of 1.5 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) sold in the state two years ahead of schedule and 21.1 percent of all new cars sold this year in California were ZEVs, according to the California Energy Commission. California approved one of the world’s first regulations last year requiring 100 percent of new car sales to be ZEVs by 2035, following Governor Newsom’s 2020 executive order to develop new rules for in-state sales.

ZEVs are a top state export, spurring major advances in manufacturing and job creation. California is home to 55 ZEV and ZEV-related manufacturers and leads the nation in ZEV manufacturing jobs.

A $2.6 billion investment plan approved in November by the California Air Resources Board supports a wide range of ZEV projects, with 70 percent of the funds directed to disadvantaged and low-income communities – the state’s largest-ever investment in the equitable expansion of clean transportation.

To support the needed infrastructure and services to make this transition, agencies across government – including GO-Biz, CARB, CEC, CalSTA, and the CPUC – have signed a Zero Emission Infrastructure Joint Agency Statement of Intent.