California Looks to Ban Sales of Diesel Commercial Trucks in Newest Climate Fight Front

California Looks to Ban Sales of Diesel Commercial Trucks in Newest Climate Fight Front
Truckers move shipping containers out of the Port of Long Beach, Calif., on July 13, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Naveen Athrappully

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is trying to ban the sale of diesel commercial trucks by 2040 as part of the state’s latest agenda on combating climate change.

Fossil fuel-powered mobile sources are the “largest contributors” to California’s fine particulate matter (PM2.5), toxic diesel particulate matter (PM), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, states the CARB proposal released on Aug. 30. The agency’s proposed Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation will push for widespread, accelerated adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) in the light-duty package delivery as well as medium and heavy-duty truck sector. The ACF is part of the state’s “holistic plan” to meet California’s climate goals, it added.

“The proposed ACF regulation would require certain fleets to deploy ZEVs starting in 2024 and would establish a clear end date of new medium- and heavy-duty internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales in 2040 … It would be the next significant step in accelerating toward a zero-emission (ZE) transportation system as well as a more equitable future in California,” the proposal stated.

The ACF proposal supports Resolution 20-19 passed by the CARB, which calls for drayage trucks, last-mile delivery, and government fleets to be zero-emission-compliant by 2035; refuse trucks, local buses, and utility fleets to be zero emissions by 2040; and all trucks and buses to be zero emissions “where feasible” by 2045.

Together with the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule that CARB adopted in June 2020, the latest ACF regulation is expected to result in 510,000 ZEVs on California roads by 2035, a number that is estimated to rise to 1.23 million in 2045 and 1.59 million in 2050.

Charging Issue

In an interview with Cal Matters, Chris Shimoda, a senior vice president at the California Trucking Association, pointed out that truckers have several issues on zero-emission trucks, like the limited range of vehicles, high cost of the trucks, and a lack of sufficient charging stations.

Shimoda points out that the charging infrastructure to support the trucks is basically “non-existent.” To complicate matters, even the fastest chargers available right now will take roughly three to four hours to get a battery to full charge. This can end up disrupting the trucking industry.

“These charging stations are going to be a huge, huge power draw … To put into context, the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on a game day uses around 300 to 350 kilowatts of power. A charging station needed for a big rig is going to be like 30 times larger,” Shimoda said.

The CARB proposal on banning diesel commercial truck sales by 2040 will be considered by the board on Oct. 23. In August, the board had voted to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035.

California’s push to shift away from fossil fuel vehicles to zero-emission vehicles comes at a time when the state’s power grid had recently asked customers to not charge their electric vehicles due to high demand for electricity.