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Truckers gear up for zero-emission rule 

Truckers gear up for zero-emission rule
Truckers gear up for zero-emission rule

Zero-emission trucks in California will soon have to register on California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) online system to conduct short-haul transportation of containers between the port and destination. The rule comes into effect on 1 January, 2024.

In April the CARB approved a rule that will see the phasing in of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles. The move comes as the government wants to transform trucks traveling on the state’s roads to zero emissions by 2045. 

The importance of the CARB 

The board’s mandate is to protect the public from harmful air pollution. The CARB also develops programs to fight climate change. 

California leads the way in cutting air pollution from heavy-duty trucks.” Under the new rule, fleet owners operating vehicles for private services such as last-mile delivery and federal fleets such as the Postal Service, along with state and local government fleets, will begin their transition toward zero-emission vehicles starting in 2024,” says CARB. 

This new rule will mean that truck owners will have to transition some of their vehicles to meet the zero emissions rule. In addition to this rule, the Biden administration granted the state the authority to require that half of all trucks, tractor-trailers and cement vehicles sold must be all-electric by 2035.

Zero-emission trucks are better for the environment 

The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) says zero-emission trucks greatly decrease Nitrogen Oxide emissions which allows for cleaner air quality. Communities living near ports will benefit from California’s new rule. It’s not just air pollution, but noise will be reduced which will assist in better mental well-being. “Noise pollution can lead to drivers suffering from hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, high blood pressure, and anxiety,” says NRDC. 

On an industry level in California, major trucking companies have pledged a commitment to meet state vehicle standards. The CARB has also agreed to give truck manufacturers some time to meet requirements. Earlier this year, California lawmakers agreed to let trucking companies sell older diesel engine trucks over the next three years, with a condition that these companies also sell zero-emission trucks to balance the emissions from the older trucks. 

The negative side to the zero-emissions goal for trucks does come with some opposition, with a report from the Washington Post stating that the rule could be expensive, saying the greener, cleaner vehicle could cost up to $120,000 more than a diesel truck. “This means trucking companies will either have to increase the prices they charge — if they can pass such costs onto consumers at all — or receive massive public subsidies. Either way, Americans across the country will pay,” reads the report. 

On a global scale, trucking companies are moving towards zero-emission with Mercedez Benz, MAN and Scania trucking companies leading the way in the European Union. 

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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