California Bans The Sale Of New Diesel Trucks By 2036

California recently made a landmark decision that will have far-reaching consequences for the transportation industry. The state has banned the sale of new diesel trucks by 2036, making it the first in the world to do so. 

This bold move known as “Advanced Clean Fleets” is aimed at improving air quality, eliminating smog, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in California. 

In this blog post, I’ll explore what led to this decision, its potential implications for trucking companies and their employees, and what it means for California’s broader sustainability goals. Read on to learn more!

Key Takeaways

  • California has become the first place worldwide to approve a new regulation banning the sale of all new diesel big rigs and buses by 2036.
  • Under this landmark decision, new medium and heavy-duty fleet purchases must be 100% Zero-Emissions-Vehicles (ZEV) by 2036.
  • Diesel trucks are responsible for emitting high levels of greenhouse gasses (GHG), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which contribute significantly to climate change, cause respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and even lung cancer among other serious health issues.
  • The shift towards electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles presents both challenges and opportunities for industries but also signifies progress in addressing climate change while protecting public health.
  • Drayage trucks will have to be 100% ZEV beginning in 2035, in other words, no diesel drayage trucks will be in circulation.
Hybrid electric truck being charging at charging station

Brief Overview Of California’s New Rule Banning The Sale Of New Diesel Trucks By 2036

This pioneering regulation, approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in April 2023, is the first of its kind worldwide, prompting truck manufacturers to make significant shifts towards producing zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks.

Under this new rule, medium-duty and heavy-duty fleet purchases must be 100% ZEV by 2036, making it the most stringent ZEV truck mandate in existence.

New California Ban On Diesel Trucks

California’s new Advanced Clean Fleets regulation will ban the sale of all new diesel big rigs and buses by 2036, with all trucks in the state required to be zero-emission by 2042.

Details Of The New Rule And Timeline For Implementation

Here are the major details and timeline for the implementation of the Advanced Clean Fleets diesel truck ban:

  • 2023: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the ban on new diesel big rigs and buses sales starting from 2036.
  • The new rule requires that all trucks be zero – emissions by 2042 (i.e. non ZEV trucks will not be allowed to circulate).
  • Medium and heavy-duty fleet purchases must be 100% Zero-Emissions-Vehicles (ZEV) by 2036, according to this new regulation.
  • As of 1 January 2024, only ZEV drayage trucks can register in the CARB’s drayage registry.
  • Beginning in 2035, all drayage trucks in operation must be ZEV, i.e. no non-ZEV drayage trucks will be permitted to operate.

The Environmental Impact Of Diesel Trucks

Diesel trucks have a significant impact on the environment, contributing to increased air pollution and negative effects on human health, as well as climate change.

Importance Of Reducing Diesel Truck Emissions

Reducing diesel truck emissions is crucial for a multitude of reasons, all of which contribute to creating a healthier environment for both people and our planet. Californians are no strangers to the hazardous air pollution resulting from these heavy-duty vehicles.

Moreover, diesel trucks have a significant impact on climate change by releasing greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Diesel trucks account for 25% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and over 35% of nitrogen oxide, even though they account for just 6% of total traffic. 

By switching to cleaner alternatives like electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, California can work towards its goal of achieving carbon neutrality and slowing down the detrimental effects of global warming.

Already under pressure by frequent wildfires worsened by climate change-related factors in recent years, it’s more important than ever that tangible steps are taken towards reducing diesel truck emissions.

Increased Air Pollution And Negative Effects On Human Health

Breathing in air polluted by diesel truck emissions can have serious health consequences, especially for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues.

In California, diesel trucks account for 80% of diesel soot and diesel exhaust contains over 40 cancer-causing air pollutants.

In addition to aggravating asthma symptoms and causing lung damage, exposure to diesel exhaust has been linked to increased rates of heart disease and premature death.

Contribution To Climate Change

Diesel trucks contribute significantly to climate change because they release large amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Reducing these harmful emissions and addressing climate change by promoting cleaner alternatives like electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.


Benefits Of The New Rule

The new rule banning the sale of new diesel trucks in California by 2036 will lead to improved air quality and health benefits for residents, as well as progress in addressing climate change.

Improved Air Quality And Health Benefits For California Residents

The Advanced Clean Fleets diesel truck ban will have a significant impact on improving air quality and public health for all Californians.

Diesel exhaust contains harmful air pollutants that can cause asthma, heart disease, and cancer, particularly in low-income communities where residents are more likely to live near ports or highways with heavy truck traffic.

In addition to reducing pollution-related illnesses, this ban also represents a major step forward in addressing climate change. The transportation sector is responsible for around 40% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the largest contributors to climate change in the state.

Progress In Addressing Climate Change

I’m excited about the progress California is making in addressing climate change through its new ban on diesel trucks. 

By banning new diesel trucks by 2036 and requiring zero-emission vehicles, we can dramatically reduce harmful emissions in a key sector of transportation.

The benefits of transitioning from diesel to clean energy sources like electric or hydrogen fuel cell technology are clear. We’ll enjoy cleaner air, improved public health, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and hopefully more job opportunities in renewable energy industries.

Transition To Zero-Emission Vehicles

The shift towards electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles presents challenges and opportunities for the trucking industry, including initial costs and infrastructure needs.

Shift Towards Electric And Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

As part of the transition to zero-emission vehicles, California is pushing for a shift towards electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks. Electric trucks are powered by batteries and emit no emissions while driving.

Meanwhile, hydrogen fuel cell trucks use compressed hydrogen gas to produce electricity, with water as its only emission. These technologies are still in their early stages, but some companies have already begun testing out electric and hydrogen-powered delivery trucks on a small scale.

For example, Amazon has ordered 1000 electric vans from startup Rivian as part of its goal to become net-zero carbon by 2040.

Challenges And Opportunities For The Trucking Industry

As the timeline for phasing out diesel trucks in California accelerates, businesses and trucking companies are facing numerous challenges. The biggest obstacle is transitioning to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) within an incredibly short timeframe – just 12 years for new trucks, and 19 for complete phase out.

This requires significant investment in new technologies and infrastructure, including charging stations and hydrogen fuel cell facilities.

However, there are also opportunities for innovative companies that can adapt quickly to these changes. Investment in clean energy technology is expected to grow significantly as companies look for ways to comply with the new rules while minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency.

Truck manufacturers, shipping firms, battery makers, and other stakeholders have already begun investing in ZEV alternatives such as electric trucks or hydrogen-powered rigs.

Ultimately, there are boundless possibilities emerging for those willing to take this challenge head-on; one important takeaway from these regulatory reforms is that technological innovations are now non-negotiable.

A not so well known fact is that California introduced a weight exemption for ZEV and “Near ZEV” vehicles, designed to allow heavy duty fleet operators to operate at maximum payload. This regulation facilitates the take up of clean fleets by removing a disincentive because ZEV vehicles are usually heavier than their diesel counterparts.


Potential Impact On Other States And Industries

Other states and countries may follow California’s lead, leading to a shift towards zero-emission vehicles globally.

Possibility Of Similar Regulations In Other Regions

As the first state to implement such a significant ban, it is likely that other regions will follow suit, in the same way that its Zero Emission Vehicle program has been picked up by all the “Section 177” states.

Similar regulations in other states could serve as a catalyst for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology to become more mainstream in the trucking industry.

In addition to California, several cities and countries have implemented bans on diesel-powered cars and trucks in recent years, highlighting a growing global trend towards reducing emissions from transportation.

Growth Opportunities In The Alternative Fuel Industry

As California moves towards mandating zero-emission vehicles, the alternative fuel industry is expected to experience significant growth opportunities.

With the new Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation requiring all trucks and buses in the state to be zero-emissions by 2042, companies developing electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology are poised for success.

This includes battery producers like Tesla and startups such as Nikola Motor Company, which specializes in heavy-duty hydrogen-electric trucks.

Additionally, infrastructure development will become a key area of investment as more charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations are needed to support the growing number of clean energy vehicles on the road.

Impact On Jobs And Businesses

As with any major regulation, there will be an impact on jobs and businesses. The ban on diesel truck sales in California could prove costly to businesses that rely on these vehicles for their operations.

However, this shift towards more environmentally friendly transportation also presents opportunities for growth in new industries such as electric vehicle production and charging infrastructure development.

It’s not just the California trucking industry that might feel the effects of this new rule – other states may follow suit with similar diesel truck mandates. As a result, we may see a shift towards cleaner forms of transportation in other regions as well.

Conclusion: The Future Of Diesel Trucks In California And Beyond

In conclusion, California’s new rule banning the sale of new diesel trucks by 2036 is a significant step towards reducing pollution and improving air quality in the state.

The shift towards zero-emission vehicles presents both challenges and opportunities for the trucking industry, but it also signals progress in addressing climate change.

This regulation could have an impact on other states and industries as they consider similar measures to improve air quality and reduce emissions.


Why is California banning the sale of new diesel trucks by 2036?

California is taking measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, as diesel vehicles are a major contributor to pollution and climate change. By transitioning to cleaner, alternative fuel sources for trucks, California aims to improve public health and protect the environment.

Will existing diesel trucks still be allowed on the roads after 2036?

Yes, this ban only affects the sale of new diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 26,000 pounds starting in 2024. Existing diesel-powered vehicles will still be allowed on the road, until 2042.

What are some potential alternatives to traditional diesel engines for heavy-duty trucks?

Some alternatives include electric or hybrid-electric drivetrains powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells, as well as natural gas or propane engines.

How might this ban affect trucking companies and businesses that rely on heavy-duty transportation in California?

The transition away from traditional diesel engines may require upfront investments for trucking companies to purchase newer models with alternative-fuel technologies or retrofit older vehicles. However, long-term benefits could include lower maintenance costs and improved air quality that ultimately benefit both businesses and communities across California.

Jonathan Rice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *