In a bid to curb air pollution caused due to heavy vehicles, California regulators have reportedly approved new rules that would mark a major shift from traditional gas and diesel trucks to ones powered by electric batteries.
According to sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, California has become the first state to legislate a rule that requires diesel truck manufacturers and vans to go all-electric by 2045. The move is considered as an important step forward in tackling the problem of climate change, in particular to poorer communities surrounded by highways and warehouses.
In a virtual meeting, where over 100 participants were present, the California Air Resources Board voted for the rule, resisting opposition from the trucking industry and oil companies.
Acknowledged as the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, the rule aims to establish all-electric zero-emission trucks by 2024 and to completely replace the diesel vehicles with electric trucks by 2045.
CARB said in the statement that the new rule addresses the disproportionate health and pollution risks that are affecting communities in California and puts the state on the path for entire zero-emission shorter distance fleet in rail yards and ports by 2035, and ‘last mail’ delivery lorries and freighters by 2040.
Besides helping out the minorities and low-income communities, the rule will ultimately act in favor of California's climate change goals.
Trucks are a significant single source of air pollution caused by vehicles, accounting for 70% of smog and 80% of carcinogens, although they total just two millions of carcinogens in the state among the 30 million registered vehicles, CARB pointed out in its statement.
Tony Brasil, the Chief of the transportation and clean technology branch of CARB further explained that the legislation was required to fulfill both the Board and the Governor's priorities for lowering emissions of Greenhouse Gases but also to fulfill federal requirements for environmental quality and preserve people's safety.