Semi truck by fkevin on Needpix

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

On Thursday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously passed the Advanced Clean Trucks rule that will require more than half of all trucks sold in California to be zero-emission by 2035, extending to include all trucks by 2045. The ruling comes as a method of counteracting the negative effects of diesel on the environment. According to CARB, trucks contribute to “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.”

While the automotive industry has generally been supportive of the move to zero-emission vehicles, the order still faces backlash. Joe Rajkovacz, a spokesman for the Western States Trucking Association, stated, “Truckers are concerned about cost, battery range, and durability of the vehicles.” Rajkovacz went on to explain that the technology is not ready and a mandate won’t make technology progress any faster. Some of the innovation challenges that will affect the industry include more charging stations and greater production costs. While immediate costs are substantial, the long-term savings include “$7.3 billion in overall economic savings by 2040 and creat[ing] a market for up to 500,000 new electric trucks statewide.”

The mandate comes in direct opposition to the Trump administration’s decision to roll back emissions standards in an effort to “save lives, lift the economy, and help the auto industry.” The state of California and the Trump administration are still at odds with one another in a legal battle over the state’s ability to set its own vehicle standards.

In addition to the long term global impact that this pollution has had, diesel trucks frequently contribute to negative health effects for hundreds of dense Sothern California communities who bear much of the brunt of the pollution. Several other states and the District of Columbia are working on enacting similar zero-emission measures to help clean up the earth, citing an “urgent climate crisis.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

California’s Landmark Electric Truck Rule Targets ‘Diesel Death Zone’ – NPR – 6/26/2020
Some industry groups opposed the move, but a growing number of automakers have announced plans to make electric vans or trucks. And in a sign of advancing battery power technology, this emerging market even includes electric big rigs — the heavy-duty trucks that transport freight across the country.

Editorial: Goodbye, diesel exhaust. California adopts nation’s first zero-emission truck rule – Los Angeles Times – 6/26/2020
California leaders deserve credit for forging ahead with a rule that is even stronger than an earlier version floated by the air resources board’s staff. It will be impossible for the state to clean up its dirty air and do its part to slow the devastating impacts of climate change without eliminating fossil fuels from the transportation sector.

California Ushers In An Electrifying New Era In Trucks – Forbes – 6/25/2020
Today, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to approve the first-ever mandate for electric commercial trucks. Between 2024 and 2035, the Advanced Clean Trucks Program will transition 75% of delivery trucks and vans, 55% of smaller trucks like the Ford F250, and 40% of the larger, semi tractors sold in the state to zero emission trucks.

California considers 1st-in-US electric truck sales rule – Fox News – 6/25/2020
California already has similar rules in place for passenger vehicle sales. But no one has yet imposed rules like these for work trucks, which unlike passenger vehicles are purchased with the intent of returning a profit. The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association argues the proposed rule would eventually “collapse” because there are not enough charging stations available to support that many electric trucks on the road.

Electric big rigs? California poised to adopt nation’s first rules requiring electric trucks – The Mercury News – 6/25/2020
Others are more skeptical. Many truckers are concerned about cost, battery range, and durability of the vehicles’ drive trains, said Joe Rajkovacz, a spokesman for the Western States Trucking Association, in San Bernardino County. “The technology is intriguing but obviously not ready for prime time yet,” he said.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Steve Milloy on Twitter, 6/26/2020: California fantasizes that expensive and inconvenient trucks will change the weather. Meanwhile, in the real world, China and India are and will continue to burn and mine coal like there is no tomorrow. https://t.co/tzJR7dIIJz

Anthony Rendon on Twitter, 6/26/2020: For years my district has suffered the consequences of harmful diesel emissions from nearby freeways. But CA is once again proving we lead the charge against climate change. Thanks to @AirResources for this important decision on #zeroemission trucks. https://t.co/i6H2I7BZFm

Nathan Fletcher on Twitter, 6/25/2020: Like many things at CARB, this is a first-in-the-world sales mandate for truck manufacturers and will benefit our environmental justice communities, and California’s growing clean energy economy. Other states are looking to CA & @GavinNewsom for leadership – and they got it.

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