California is leading the charge to enhance public health and move forward more quickly with the transition to cleaner transportation. Along with seven other states, California is committing to develop a plan to put hundreds of thousands of zero-emission trucks and public buses on the road throughout the state.
The California Air Resources Board, in charge of coming up with the action plan, is in the beginning stages of meeting to come up with the particulars of how this can be accomplished. For now, the idea of encouraging cleaner driving opportunities is envisioned through a proposed Advanced Clean Trucks regulation that would establish sales and reporting requirements for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on the road.
It’s not clear whether or not trucking companies and owner-operators who drive traditional emissions trucks in the state will be hit with fines if they don’t fall under regulation. Regardless of this possibility, it’s important for trucking companies to make sure they keep their commercial truck insurance coverage in force and consider pollution insurance as it might relate to their operations.
Trucks are a major contributor to pollution in the country, and since California is a main artery for road-based trade between Mexico, Canada, and the rest of the United States, it’s no wonder something like this is picking up steam. And with the recent passage of the USMCA deal, which is set to enhance more trade between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, using California as a main thoroughfare to move commerce, the chance of cutting down on trucks on the road doesn’t look possible. So, the solution is to come up with ways to cut down on emissions.
States joining California in the regulations and efforts are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Vermont. The collaborative effort will also be put in motion and supported by the ZEV Task Force and facilitated by NESCAUM, or the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management. Together, all entities will look to identify and come up with solutions for cost, fueling infrastructure, and other challenges.
California has already invested nearly $1 billion in cap and trade processed into pilot projects to help accelerate the commercialization of zero- and near-zero trucks and buses. Companies like PepsiCo and FedEx are already on board, partnering with stakeholders in the initiatives.
The other states in the effort have offered up incentives for zero-emission freight trucks and transit buses, as well as school buses. Some states have already introduced electric shuttles for public transportation and allocated settlement funds from Volkswagen toward medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification.
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