Several prominent manufacturers of heavy trucks and engines have reached an agreement with California to support the state’s plan to ban the sale of new diesel big rigs by 2036.
The deal aims to prevent potential litigation and maintain a unified national standard for truck pollution rules while facilitating a smoother transition to clean electric commercial trucks. Notable companies participating in the agreement include Ford, General Motors, Daimler, Cummins, and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association.
The coalition, known as the Clean Truck Partnership, was formed after extensive negotiations between the industry and the California Air Resources Board, which has been advocating for stricter regulations to combat pollution from heavy trucks. California Governor Gavin Newsom hailed the agreement as a significant step towards reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Diesel-powered commercial trucks are a major source of air pollution nationwide, particularly affecting communities near ports, warehouses, and other freight-related facilities. In California, heavy-duty trucks contribute to nearly a third of nitrogen oxide pollution and over a quarter of fine particle pollution.
These pollutants are linked to respiratory illnesses, asthma, and premature death, disproportionately impacting communities of color residing near busy ports. The agreement could have broader implications, as other states often follow California’s clean air regulations, and automakers produce vehicles meeting California standards for nationwide sales.
Eight states have already adopted a precursor to California’s plan, accounting for approximately 25% of the American truck market. The participating manufacturers have committed to transitioning to zero-emission big rigs and have highlighted provisions to align California’s rules with a recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit nitrogen oxide emissions.
The tweet below verifies the news:
U.S. truckmakers reach deal to phase out polluting diesel big rigshttps://t.co/7TXjiAomYc
— susan pennington (@spennington33) July 7, 2023
While the industry has sought alignment between federal and state regulations in the past, there has been resistance to California’s efforts to reduce pollution and phase out diesel-powered trucks. As part of the agreement, California will adopt some of the less stringent federal regulations enacted by the EPA in December, including technical standards that allow for slightly lower pollution rates.
Automakers stress the need for harmonization between programs to achieve emissions reductions, acknowledging the shared goal of lowering pollution. However, they also highlight the necessity of robust infrastructure, such as electric charging stations and hydrogen systems, to support the widespread adoption of zero-emission trucks.
The Biden administration, which has committed to working towards 100% zero-emissions new truck and bus sales by 2040, welcomes the agreement and will review its details. The deal signals progress in the transition towards cleaner transportation and underscores the importance of collaboration between industry, regulators, and policymakers to achieve ambitious climate goals.
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