California’s pollution and air quality-focused agency, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), announced the approval of rules aimed at decarbonizing the state’s transport sector, including a requirement to end the sale of medium- and heavy-duty combustion trucks by 2036, and requiring newly built freight trains to be zero emission by 2035.
The new rules follows the adoption last year by CARB of requirements for all new car, pickup truck and SUV sales in the state to be zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035, and support California’s goal for the transportation sector to reach carbon neutrality by 2045.
Transportation, including fuel production, accounts for roughly half of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 80% of the state’s air pollutants. Trucks account for around a quarter of the state’s on-road GHG emissions and more than a third of nitrogen oxide emissions, despite representing only around 6% of the vehicles on the road.
In addition to mandating an end to sales of combustion trucks by 2036, the new Advanced Clean Fleets rule sets requirements for fleet operators to transition fleets to zero emissions, with big rigs, local delivery and government fleets required to transition by 2035, garbage trucks by 2039, and all other trucks, such as sleeper cab tractors and specialty vehicles by 2042. The rules will require approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
With several states typically following California’s clean vehicle standards, the new rules add pressure to vehicle owners and manufacturers to accelerate the transition of their fleets, and on governments to roll out infrastructure capable of supporting zero emission vehicle charging and refueling. The Biden administration also recently announced new GHG standards for trucks aimed at decarbonizing transport, and accelerating the transition to EVs.
In addition to the new truck rules, CARB also adopted the In-Use Locomotive Regulation, which includes requirements for newly built passenger trains to be zero emission by 2030, and freight trains by 2035.
“The future happens here first, and California is once again showing the world what real climate action looks like. 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.”