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California’s electric truck mandates pose challenges—and opportunities—for small fleets

December 13, 2023

Source: Charged EV Fleet & Infrastructure News

Diesel-powered trucks are an endangered species in California—assuming that existing laws stand, all trucks in use in the state must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2042, and interim targets will start to bite much sooner.

CARB’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule requires manufacturers to make ZEVs an increasing percentage of their annual California sales from 2024 to 2035. By 2035, ZEV truck/chassis sales would need to be 55% of Class 2b-3 truck sales, 75% of Class 4-8 straight truck sales, and 40% of truck-tractor sales.

The complementary Advanced Clean Fleets rule requires operators to buy only ZEVs by 2036. For certain categories, the ACF rule will apply much sooner—for drayage trucks (short-distance haulers of cargo within and among ports and logistics centers), the rule will take effect at the beginning of 2024.

As with any government regulations, figuring out how to comply with the new rules, and how to take full advantage of the various incentives available, will be a complex matter, and this may be especially challenging for smaller fleets.

A recent survey by Commercial Carrier Journal found that few owner-operators and small fleets (fewer than 10 trucks) have any knowledge about available state and federal incentives.

California offers an array of incentives to help bring down the up-front costs of electric trucks (sometimes double the cost of a diesel truck), but smaller companies are likely to have a harder time evaluating and applying for the various programs.

Read more on Charged EV Fleet & Infrastructure News.