Historic Zero-Emissions Trucks Rule Passes in California

16.05.23 10:09 PM Comment(s) By Rebecca Hisiger

All about Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF)

It’s an exciting time of change for electric vehicles (EVs) in the US! Amidst updates to federal incentives offered for personal EV purchases, a historic rule has also just been approved in California called Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF). Developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the rule requires a gradual shift towards 100% electric trucks across the state over the next 15-20 years. The rule also includes an end to combustion truck sales in 2036, a first-of-its-kind requirement that will expedite the state’s EV transition and bring to fruition Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal of getting California to zero-emissions by 2045.

What are the basics of the new rule?

Starting early next year in 2024, fleet owners operating vehicles for private services, federal fleets, state and local government fleets will begin transitioning to zero-emission vehicles. By 2035, drayage trucks, due to their heavier impact on residents, must be zero-emissions. Other fleet owners have the option to transition a percentage of their vehicles to meet zero-emission milestones, with flexibility to continue using gas-powered vehicles as needed and until the end of their useful life. The rule also includes exemptions based on available technology, to account for the fluctuating market for medium- and heavy-duty EVs. The goal is to replace older polluting trucks with the cleanest possible engines more quickly, with a complete ban on combustion truck sales by 2036. 

The move is expected to generate $26.5 billion in health savings from reduced asthma attacks, emergency room visits, and respiratory illnesses, and save fleet owners an estimated $48 billion in their total operating costs

Why is the new rule needed?

The ACF regulation aims to speed up the adoption of zero-emission trucks, vans, and buses by requiring fleets that can use electric vehicles to switch to them where possible. The regulation will reduce emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on California's roads, supporting public health and climate goals. Specifically, people living near seaports, railyards, warehouses, and distribution centers are disproportionately affected by pollution from high truck traffic. The regulation will greatly benefit air quality in neighborhoods surrounding these locations. 

Overall, the ACF rule will result in nearly half of all semi-trucks that travel on California highways to be zero-emission by 2035 and about 70 percent to be zero-emission by 2042. The rule’s acceptance is expected to significantly accelerate the state’s full transition to EVs, thereby greatly reducing the harmful impacts of tailpipe emissions in California communities and hopefully setting an example for others to follow.

Where do we go from here? 

If you are getting started on your fleet electric vehicle journey, we’re here to help. We launched EV re-Fleet (EVRF) with the mission to make EV knowledge common sense. We work with organizations of all sizes to understand how to electrify their existing fleet and to provide training and support for employees with this transition. We can help you identify funding opportunities and figure out next steps. Contact us to learn more.

Rebecca Hisiger

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