This bold standard works to set a precedent in the initiative toward cleaner air.
Yesterday, June 25, 2020, the California Air Resources Board CARB) announced a ground-breaking development in the push for cleaner air. The board voted unanimously in favor of the first national standard for electric trucks. It’s also the first of its type in the world.
Essentially, the new rule would require manufacturers to switch from diesel trucks and vans to zero-emission electric trucks beginning in 2024. Then, the manufacturers would have about 20 years to transition their entire lineups to zero-emission vehicles. The CARB standard says all new trucks sold in the state by 2045 must be emissions-free.
This bold move comes at a time that we’ve seen the results of having fewer cars on the road and reduced emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also comes on the heels of nationwide protests related to systemic racism. Calfornia has long been a leader when it comes to green energy, green jobs, and clean air. Now, this standard takes another step forward in setting a precedent. CARB writes:
“Many California neighborhoods, especially Black and Brown, low-income and vulnerable communities, live, work, play and attend schools adjacent to the ports, railyards, distribution centers, and freight corridors and experience the heaviest truck traffic. This new rule directly addresses disproportionate risks and health and pollution burdens affecting these communities … “
CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols added:
“Diesel vehicles are the workhorses of the economy, and we need them to be part of the solution to persistent pockets of dirty air in some of our most disadvantaged communities. Now is the time – the technology is here and so is the need for investment.”
Trucks comprise the largest source or vehicle air pollution, making up 70 percent of “smog-causing pollution” and 80 percent of “carcinogenic diesel soot.” The crazy part is there are only 2 million of these vehicles on California roads, of the 30 million total registered vehicles. With this new regulation in place, California is poised to see 300,000 electric trucks on its roads by 2035.
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