We have written at great length about how a better method to resolve air pollution would be to enact regulations that peter out older engines rather than forcing new engines to continuously provide breakthroughs in efficiency, and it seems that California may be doing just that.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) enacted a rule in 2008 regarding the use of old truck and bus engines within state borders. The last update to the rule was in 2014, banning the use of engines from model year 2006 and earlier (technically it allows for 1995 and earlier, but for all practical purposes those are not on the road often and when they are they break down too much to get anywhere).
Now at the end of 2022, the ban will extend another three years to include models 2007, 2008, and 2009. For California businesses, registration of these vehicles will be impossible. For businesses in other states, driving such trucks within state lines may result in fines and impoundment.
An estimated 75,000 trucks are believed to be directly affected by this change.
Not All Doom and Gloom
If you are an owner of one of these 75,000 trucks, there are a few things you can do:
- Drive the truck as-is and run the risk of fines and impoundment. We do not recommend this, but it is still an option nonetheless.
- Retrofit your truck to have a newer engine and report it to CARB’s Excluded Diesel Vehicle Reporting database.
- Apply the low-use exemption and drive the vehicle fewer than 1,000 miles per year.
Additionally, many trucking groups are petitioning CARB to suspend the advancement of model years by an additional year or two, claiming a need due to global supply chain shortages.
“We shall see if there’s pragmatism,” Rajkovacz said on behalf of the Western States Trucking Association. “The impact of taking 80,000 trucks out of the supply chain — that’s about 17% of California’s commercial motor vehicle fleet.”
Only time will tell if CARB agrees to delay the rule. In the chance that they do not, it may be a good idea to start planning ahead if you are a Californian owning an older model engine in your truck(s).
Overall, we do not consider a prohibition of three model years every nine years to be particularly taxing on the trucking industry under normal circumstances. A truck bought with a 2022 model engine would become obsolete by the year 2061. Considering we do not live in normal circumstances, anything is now on the table.
ABOUT TOPMARK FUNDING
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