California to Ban New Diesel Truck Sales by 2036

All diesel trucks must be zero emissions by 2042.

May 01, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—California will ban the sales of new diesel commercial trucks by 2036, reports CNBC. The new regulations are part of the Advanced Clean Fleets rule, which was passed by the California Air Resources Board unanimously last Friday.

In addition, rules also would force companies that operate 50 or more trucks to gradually convert their fleets into electric or hydrogen models, reaching 100% zero-emissions by 2042, with these timelines also based on the type of truck.

“The earliest requirements would be for drayage trucks, which carry cargo to and from the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland. … All of them must be converted to electric models by 2035, and new sales beginning in 2024 must be zero emissions,” reports Bay City News.

The board said that heavy-duty trucks represent nearly one-third of the state’s nitrogen oxide and more than one-quarter of its fine-particle pollution from diesel fuel.

Supporters of the rule argue the regulations improve public health in marginalized communities, while opponents of the rule say that the requirements are expensive, as electric trucks are costlier than gas-powered big rigs. The trucking industry argues that 2042 deadline is not plausible due to lack of EV charging infrastructure and available space at ports.

California is allowed to have more stringent rules under the federal Clean Air Act, and the regulations could impact more states than California. New York, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Vermont and Colorado have already adopted California’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule.

California also announced it aims to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045. Last August, the California Air Resources Board passed a plan that requires all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state to be electric vehicles or plug-in electric hybrids by 2035. NACS, along with other stakeholders, filed a petition in a federal court in Washington, D.C., challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver that would allow California to implement the zero-emission vehicle mandate.

California independent gas station owners have told the Los Angeles Times that California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate will cause some of their businesses to close. According to NACS data, there are more than 5,000 single-store operators in the state of California.

The state also approved a rule that would ban train engines that are more than 23 years old by 2030, which is a first-in-the-nation rule.

The Convenience Matters podcast episode “Where Do EVs Make the Most Sense?” examines the findings from a Fuels Institute study looking at life-cycle emissions for EVs and fuel-powered vehicles.