California will require all newly-sold trucks to be zero-emissions by 2045

In context: California has long been one of the primary proponents of clean energy and climate protection-focused policies and regulations. The state hit its emissions target a whopping four years ahead of schedule, as we reported in 2018, but California’s leaders don’t want to leave well enough alone.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced a “first-in-the-world” rule that will require all truck and van manufacturers to transition from diesel vehicles to zero-emission alternatives starting in 2024.

The transition will be a lengthy one: manufacturers will have until 2045 to fully switch over. However, when the time comes, every truck sold in California must be electric (or otherwise zero-emissions).

The CARB hopes this rule will significantly reduce pollution in some of California’s most “disadvantaged and polluted communities,” including low-income and “Black and Brown” neighborhoods.

California’s leadership seems confident that the state will hit its new targets. “California is an innovation juggernaut that is going electric,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld. “We are showing the world that we can move goods, grow our economy and finally dump dirty diesel.”

California says trucks are the “largest single source” of vehicle air pollution, carrying the responsibility for “70 percent of the smog-causing pollution” and 80 percent of “carcinogenic diesel soot,” despite making up only a small portion of the total number of on-road vehicles.

The CARB expects its upcoming regulations to lead to increased corporate investment in the development and production of electric trucks. It remains to be seen whether or not that will be the case.

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