SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In a collaborative effort to protect public health and accelerate the transition to clean transportation, California is joining with seven other states in committing to develop an action plan to place hundreds of thousands more zero-emission trucks and buses on their roads and highways, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced on Dec. 11.
The Statement of Intent comes as the board holds its first meeting to consider a proposed Advanced Clean Trucks regulation that would establish sales and reporting requirements for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The CARB board is expected to consider the first of its kind regulation for adoption next year.
“Trucks are increasingly a major contributor to air pollution nationwide, but especially in our cities, where they are among the largest sources of toxic emissions in vulnerable neighborhoods,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “We need to design a regulatory program that gets to the heart of this problem. We will move farther faster in partnership with other states who share the same commitment to cleaning up trucks and protecting public health.”
States joining with California on the effort to accelerate deployment of zero-emission trucks and buses are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. The partnering states agreed that accelerating the transition to zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles is a critical part of reducing climate-altering carbon pollution. Also, harmful smog-forming pollutants and particulate matter that disproportionately impacts urban communities and people living near major truck routes and distribution hubs.
Other participating states are providing incentives for zero-emitting freight trucks, transit buses and school buses. The states are introducing electric shuttle and urban buses into transit fleets; allocating Volkswagen settlement funds toward medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification; and piloting innovative approaches, such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) electric school buses.
This new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle collaborative effort will be implemented through the ZEV Task Force and facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). The multi-state organization has more than 50 years of experience supporting collaborative clean air programs. It will pursue similar coordinated action with industry and stakeholders to identify and address cost, fueling infrastructure and other barriers.
New technology developments in the medium- and heavy-duty sector are making zero-emission public transit and school buses commercially viable, they said, as well as in a growing number of other applications, such as delivery vans, and garbage and utility service vehicles. The signatory states are already working to expand the market for MHD ZEVs.
California has invested nearly $1 billion in cap and trade proceeds into demonstration and pilot projects, to accelerate and promote the commercialization of zero- and near-zero medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Companies with large fleets, including Pepsico and FedEx, are partners in these initiatives, along with many other technology partners.
CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants, while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs, and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.