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Truckers slam California regulators over plans to ban big rig sales

Truckers have slammed regulators for voting to approve a ‘first in the world’ big rigs by 2036.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said they hope it will put The Golden State on a path towards fully-transitioning trucks that travel across the state to zero-emissions by 2045.

The new rules, named the ‘Advanced Clean Fleets Rule’, is the first in the world to require commercial trucks to be electric.

They would tackle pollution from heavy trucks used to transport goods through ports and require firms to disclose their use of so-called drayage trucks by 2024.

Supporters of the new rules say it will generate $26.6billion in health savings from reduced asthma attacks, emergency room visits and respiratory illnesses.

Pictured: Roger Gibson said the decision was ‘killing’ truckers and their families

The proposals would see diesel big rigs and other commercial vehicles be banned, Trucking fleet management with electric versions being the only option

One trucker, Roger Gibson, who spoke to  said: ‘They are killing us, we have families at home too, we’ve got to make a living. 

‘There’s a lot of brothers out there that own their own trucks, it is a fight.’

According to CARB, fleet owners would save an estimated $48 billion in their total operating costs from the transition through to 2050.

The board said that heavy-duty trucks, which represent only 6% of the vehicles on California’s roads, account for over one third of the state’s nitrogen oxide emissions and a quarter of the state’s on-road greenhouse gas emissions.

A graph published by CARB also show how 67% of class 7-8 trucks, which are heavy duty commercial vehicles, would be affected by the proposed regulations. 

Fleet owners reported information about their vehicles and operations in 2021 which shows that the vast majority of trucks drive 100 miles or fewer per day

The proposed ACF regulation is expected to significantly increase the number of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs on California roads

The proposed regulation focuses on the truck types that pollute the most, 67 percent of all Class 7-8 tractors, the largest polluters, will be covered

But the American Trucking Associations have branded the move as being ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unachievable’.

In a statement, their President and CEO Chris Spear said: ‘An unelected Board in California voted to force Trucking fleet management companies to buy zero-emission trucks. 

‘Fleets are just beginning to understand what it takes to successfully operate these trucks, but what they have learned so far is they are significantly more expensive, charging and refueling infrastructure is nonexistent, and ZEVs are not necessarily a one-for-one replacement—meaning more trucks will be needed on California roads to move the same amount of freight.

‘California is setting unrealistic targets and unachievable timelines that will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for the goods and services delivered to the state and fewer options for Truck drivers consumers. 

‘As it becomes clear that California’s rhetoric is not being matched by technology, we hope the Board will reverse course and allow trucking companies the freedom to choose the clean technologies that work best for their operations.

 ‘ATA-member companies work tirelessly to deliver the nation’s freight while deploying the cleanest technologies available. 

‘Over the past 35 years, those efforts have produced a 98% reduction in truck emissions. 

‘We continue to say ‘Yes’ to advancing cleaner technologies, Trucking fleet optimization but achievable targets and realistic timelines matter.’

Pictured: American Trucking Associations CEO and President Chris Spear.

The new rules, which cannot be implemented without approval by the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, will force fleet owners to begin their transition toward zero-emission vehicles starting in 2024.

Due to the impact that truck traffic has on residents living near heavily trafficked corridors, drayage trucks will need to be zero-emissions by 2035.

CARB Chair Liane Randolph said: ‘We have the technology available to start working toward a zero-emission future now.

‘The Advanced Clean Fleets rule is a reasonable and innovative approach to clean up the vehicles on our roads and ensure that Californians have the clean air that they want and deserve. 

‘At the same time, this rule provides manufacturers, truck owners and fueling providers the assurance that there will be a market and the demand for zero-emissions vehicles, while providing a flexible path to making the transition toward clean air.’

6 months ago

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