30 June 2020

California Air Resources Board “First-in-World Rule” Mandates Manufacturers to Increase Percentage of Zero-Emission Truck Sales

On June 25, 2020, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) regulation, which CARB describes as a “first-in-the-world rule.” Starting in 2024, the regulation requires medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers to increase the sales of zero-emission models. The ACT regulation follows the state’s longstanding Zero Emission Vehicle program and 2018 mandate requiring public transit agencies to transition to 100 percent zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.

During the June 25 CARB meeting, officials from the Northeastern States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) testified in support of the ACT regulation. NESCAUM comprises Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey and New York.

The ACT regulation requires manufacturers who certify Class 2b-8 chassis or complete vehicles with combustion engines to sell zero-emission trucks as an increasing percentage of their annual California sales from 2024 to 2035. CARB stated that by 2045, “every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission.” Additionally, larger fleets with 50 or more trucks are required to report to CARB regarding their existing fleet operations.

CARB also noted that it will consider “two complementary regulations” in the coming months: first, a “stringent new limit” on oxides of nitrogen, which would require the implementation of the most “effective exhaust control technology” on new trucks that still use fossil fuels, and second, a requirement that larger truck fleets transition to electric trucks.