California passes ‘first-in-the-world rule’ to ban sale of all new diesel trucks by 2045

Yesterday the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed a landmark regulation that will force truck manufacturers to make the switch to zero-emissions models.

On Thursday, CARB unanimously voted to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck regulation that will require truck manufacturers to begin the transition from diesel to zero-emission trucks in 2024. By 2045, “every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission,” officials say.

“California is an innovation juggernaut that is going electric. We are showing the world that we can move goods, grow our economy and finally dump dirty diesel,” said Jared Blumenfeld, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection.

CARB says that trucks are to blame for “70 percent of the smog-causing pollution and 80 percent of carcinogenic diesel soot even though they number only 2 million among the 30 million registered vehicles in the state.”

“For decades, while the automobile has grown cleaner and more efficient, the other half of our transportation system has barely moved the needle on clean air,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “Diesel vehicles are the workhorses of the economy, and we need them to be part of the solution to persistent pockets of dirty air in some of our most disadvantaged communities. Now is the time – the technology is here and so is the need for investment.”

The cost of adopting the new zero-emission technology has the trucking industry worried, but CARB says that upfront costs can be mitigated by rebates and incentives like the Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive.

CARB also announced on Thursday that they plan to crackdown on emissions from existing diesel trucks with two new regulations in the coming months. One of the regulations will set a “stringent new limit on NOx” and “require that new trucks that still use fossil fuels include the most effective exhaust control technology during the transition to electric trucks.” The second proposed regulation would set requirements for the larger trucking fleets in California to transition to electric vehicles.