California is known for having some of the strictest trucking regulations in the country. While usually the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is satisfied with banning older year models of commercial vehicles as time marches on, they are proposing perhaps the greatest shift they have ever done: all fleets headquartered in California must be fully electric by 2042.
CARB held a meeting on October 27th to discuss its plans regarding proposed regulations. The key regulation in question was a two-step movement to electrify California’s fleet:
- Ban sales of fossil fuel trucks in 2040 to federal agencies and fleets with 50 or more trucks.
- Ban use of fossil fuel trucks in 2042 to federal agencies and fleets with 50 or more trucks.
Estimates pin the number of trucks that would need to be swapped out in the next two decades to be around 1.8 million.
Over 160 different people voiced their concerns at the hearing, with trucking industry advocates trending against the proposed regulations and environmental groups mostly being for it.
“We don’t even know that chargers are going to be in place in the next two years to have somewhere to plug in the trucks. We can’t even lose time to charging if there’s nowhere to charge,” said Chris Shimoda, California Trucking Association’s senior vice president.
With the change being so ambitious, even the members of the board that are in favor of the change are voicing their concerns on how it will be done.
“I’m having the same whiplash experience that so many fleets have been talking about —the challenges they’re having and getting hooked up to the infrastructure . Why are we hearing from these fleets —some of them are saying that they’re not even being given a timeline for when the infrastructure will be in place,” said CARB board member Daniel Sperling.
We wrote earlier about the viability of traveling across the country using electric charging, but our hypothetical situation assumed all of the charging infrastructure was in place. Experts estimate that to meet the charging needs of California, it would need to install around 832,000 charging stations by 2042 in order to keep trucks moving, and that is not even considering the additional strain on the power grid.
It is likely that CARB will push the electrification of California’s fleets eventually, but 2042 may be too soon of a deadline for even the most regulated state in the trucking industry.
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