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California, truck manufacturers strike agreement on zero-emission transition

By Brock Huffstutler

July 16, 2023

CARBThe state of California has struck a partnership with the nation’s truck manufacturers to advance the development of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for the commercial trucking industry. The state said the partnership puts it on track to meet its climate goals and protect the health of frontline communities impacted most by trucking pollution. 

The agreement reached between the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), and its commercial engine and vehicle members and Ford Motor Company includes a commitment from the companies to meet California’s ZEV standards: 100 percent clean truck sales by 2036. The agreement also includes stipulations regarding emissions standards, regulatory changes and more. Click here to read about the agreement. 

“California has shown the world what real climate action looks like, and we’re raising the bar yet again,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Today, truck manufacturers join our urgent efforts to slash air pollution, showing the rest of the country that we can both cut dangerous pollution and build the economy of the future.” 

“This agreement reaffirms EMA’s and its members’ longstanding commitment to reducing emissions and to a zero-emissions commercial vehicle future and it demonstrates how EMA and CARB can work together to achieve shared clean air goals,” said EMA President Jed Mandel. “Through this agreement, we have aligned on a single nationwide nitrogen oxide emissions standard, secured needed lead time and stability for manufacturers, and agreed on regulatory changes that will ensure continued availability of commercial vehicles. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with CARB on future regulatory and infrastructure efforts designed to support a successful transition to ZEVs.” 

The American Rental Association’s (ARA) government affairs team says it is analyzing the newly announced ZEV agreement to determine its potential impact on products that are commonly used in the equipment rental industry. 

In April, California became the first jurisdiction in the world to end the sales of traditional combustion trucks by 2036, creating a path to 100 percent zero emission medium heavy-duty trucks on the roads in California by 2045. This adds to California’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule, approved by the Biden Administration in March, which requires manufacturers to accelerate sales of new zero emissions heavy-duty trucks by 2035. 

In conjunction with the new agreement, the state of California noted other achievements in its ZEV initiatives, including: 

  • Reaching its goal of 1.5 million ZEVs sold in the state two years ahead of schedule. 21.1 percent of all new cars sold this year in California were ZEVs, according to the California Energy Commission, and 40 percent of ZEVs sold in the U.S. are sold in California, according to the Veloz EV Market Report. 
  • It approved one of the world’s first regulations last year requiring 100 percent of new car sales to be ZEVs by 2035, following Gov. Newsom’s 2020 executive order to develop new rules for in-state sales.
  • ZEVs are a top state export, spurring major advances in manufacturing and job creation, the state says.
  • California is home to 55 ZEV and ZEV-related manufacturers and leads the nation in ZEV manufacturing jobs, the state says.
  • California is investing $10 billion towards the ZEV transition, including ZEV trucks and infrastructure, through the California Climate Commitment.