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Prime Mover Magazine

California plan to outlaw diesel trucks by 2050

Legislation introduced in the California state senate would likely signal the end for diesel fuelled commercial vehicles by 2050.

If passed, the bill which requires a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030 and 80 per cent GHG reduction by 2050, would phase out diesel trucks and buses as the state looks to expedite widespread use of zero-emission vehicles.

Despite being dubbed “Ditching Dirty Diesel” by California State Senator Nancy Skinner, who represents Berkeley, Joe Rajkovacz of the Western States Trucking Association expects the bill will have serious consequences given the recent technological advances in the industry.

“Our position is that it’s unnecessary legislation, but with the evolution that’s taking place in zero-emission vehicles, it’s not a surprise to us that this would drive forcing systemic changes to the trucking industry,” he said.

Although the bill has not made a differentiation between intrastate trucks and those crossing the border it was anticipated that it would affect truck fleets well beyond California borders.

In 2008 the California Statewide Truck and Bus Rule was made law by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in which all heavy duty diesel trucks and buses operating inside state borders were required to retrofit or replace engines to reduce diesel emissions.

CARB, under the new bill being proposed, would be required to bring all of California into compliance with federal air quality standards.

A recent report by the American Lung Association as cited by Senator Skinner has found that seven of the ten most polluted areas in the United States were in California.

A percentage of the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction, yet to be specified under the legislation, would be allocated each year to support the transition to clean-fuel commercial vehicles.

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