California proposes an increase in electric trucks to 300,000 by 2035

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) yesterday released the final draft of the Advanced Clean Trucks standard. The proposal will put roughly 100,000 and 300,000 electric trucks on California’s roads in 2030 and 2035, respectively, out of approximately 1.8 million and 1.9 million total trucks expected in those years. The Union of Concerned Scientists believes the state should go further.

In the more immediate timeframe, CARB’s proposal will require 4,000 electric trucks to be sold in 2024 out of roughly 75,000 total sales.

The policy applies to truck manufacturers that sell more than 500 trucks annually in the state. The companies meeting that threshold are Daimler (Freightliner, Thomas Built Buses, Western Star), Paccar (Kenworth, Peterbilt), Navistar (International, IC Bus), Ford, GM (Chevrolet, GMC), Fiat Chrysler (Dodge), Nissan, Isuzu, Toyota (Hino), and Volvo Group.

The latest proposal is stronger than previous drafts, doubling the number of electric trucks through 2035:

  • Sales targets were increased across all vehicle categories
  • Targets increase through 2035 rather than flattening out in 2030
  • Class 2b pickup trucks (eg, Ford F-250) are included in the standard in 2024 rather than being exempt until 2027

UCS concludes that 300,000 electric trucks in California by 2035 won’t be enough:

The new proposal is a big step in the right direction and perhaps the most significant policy for electric trucks to-date anywhere. Even colleagues in China, a country with the largest deployment of electric trucks and buses, are watching what CARB does next.

But the numbers show that this policy alone won’t transition the heavy-duty vehicle sector from one fueled by diesel to one powered by batteries and hydrogen. It will take additional actions to eliminate trucks’ pollution-burden and their contribution to climate change.

The organization reminds us that trucks and buses disproportionately contribute to air pollution and global warming emissions from the transportation sector.

In a December 2019 report, UCS said that, on a national basis, America’s 28 million trucks and buses make up 10% of all vehicles. But they are responsible for 28% of total carbon emissions in the transportation sector. Heavy-duty vehicles also contribute 45% of NOx and 57% of direct PM 2.5.

There are now more than 70 electric trucks and buses available from 27 manufacturers.

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Avatar for Bradley Berman Bradley Berman

Bradley writes about electric cars, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and other tech that’s transforming society. He contributes to The New York Times, SAE International, Via magazine, Popular Mechanics, MIT Technology Review, and others.