California law to demand end of combustion engine truck sales

The government of California has published new regulations calling for all new trucks to operate in the US state to be zero emissions from 2024. With the size of the state’s economy being larger than most countries, this is a significant step forward.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will also require all medium and heavy-duty truck manufacturers to only sell zero emissions vehicles from 2040.

According to the state, while there is a growing interest for electric personal vehicles, commercial vehicle EV sales are only in ‘the early stages’ of production according to David Aspinwall, North America president at Heliox, a charging systems company for buses, trucks and the port, marine and mining industries.

Under CARB’s proposed ACF regulation, all trucks added to the California fleet must be zero emission as of the 1st January 2024, and all internal combustion engined vehicles must be removed from the fleet by the 1st January following the end of the vehicle’s minimum useful life. This is defined as 13-18 years or 800,000 miles.

The electrification of truck fleets is just getting underway and fleet operators are just “dipping their toe into the water and figuring out how this is going to work,” Aspinwall said.

Aspinwall explained: “Right now there’s a limitation on the size of batteries and thus the amount of power that the batteries can take.” He said that development is happening to enable larger batteries that can take more power faster and added that “the capabilities of chargers are growing quite dramatically.” Initially the change is likely only to be seen with inner city and other shorter distance vehicle delivery runs but as technology improves this will involve vehicles on longer routes too.

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