SACRAMENTO — The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has held its first public hearing to receive feedback from the public on a proposal under consideration by state air regulators to phase out the sale of medium and heavy-duty gas-powered vehicles with the next 20 years.
The new proposal, if adopted, would require all new medium and heavy-duty vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2040. It also outlines a phased approach to adding zero-emission vehicles to certain fleets at the state and federal levels.
The proposal calls for half of the vehicles added to state and local government fleets to be zero-emission starting in 2024 and 100$ by 2027. Federal fleets and fleets with 50 or more trucks can either phase in the use of zero-emission vehicles or begin purchasing all zero-emission vehicles in 2024 and retire combustion engine vehicles at the end of their useful cycle.
The transportation industry accounts for 41% of the state’s emissions inventory with medium and heavy-duty trucks contributing a quarter of that sector’s emissions, according to CARB.
CARB has already approved regulations requiring all cars sold in the state to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
California truck drivers, public health organizations and environmental groups gave their feedback at CARB’s Thursday, Oct. 27, meeting to express concerns and express support for the new rules.
Environmental groups expressed support but also wanted additional changes. Trucking industry representatives expressed concerns about the infrastructure needed to implement the board’s proposal and questioned the strength of the state’s electric grid to handle demands.
The California Energy Commission has estimated that 157,000 chargers are necessary by 2030 to support the transition to electrification.
Kiowa County Press reported that the Air Resources Board is expected to hold a second public hearing on the proposal before taking a vote in the spring.
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