Biden administration approves California’s electric truck mandate
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved California’s authority to set its own regulations requiring manufacturers to speed up the sales of electric trucks in the state.
California has said that it will require an increasing percentage of trucks sold in the state to be electric from 2024 through 2035.
New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington and Vermont have also adopted California’s truck standards.
A press release from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office said that California and the other states that have adopted the regulations represent 22 percent of the national truck market and that the Biden administration’s approval will protect millions from harmful air pollution that comes from diesel trucks.
Under the Clean Air Act, California can set its own, more stringent standards than the federal government, but requires approval from the EPA to do so.
In the past, a similar issue related to passenger car standards had ping ponged between administrations, with the Trump administration revoking California’s clean car authority but the Biden administration reinstating it.
In a written statement, Newsom also touted the benefits of Friday’s truck decision for efforts to combat climate change.
“This is a big deal for climate action,” he said. “Thanks to the Biden Administration, we’re getting more zero-emission heavy duty trucks on the roads, expanding our world-leading efforts to cut air pollution and protect public health.”
The California rule requires different standards for different classes of truck. Fifty-five percent of trucks in classes 2b through 3 sold in the participating states will need to be electric in 2035, as will 75 percent of trucks in classes 4 through 8 and 40 percent of truck tractors.
The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, meanwhile, raised concerns about how long industry would have to adapt to the regulation.
“We remain concerned that limiting manufacturers’ leadtime to produce compliant vehicles will present significant challenges,” said the group’s president Jed Mandel in a written statement.
“Adequate leadtime, regulatory stability, and the necessary zero-emission recharging and refueling infrastructure are imperative for manufacturers to develop, build, and sell the customer-acceptable, effective products capable of meeting [the California Air Resources Board’s] zero-emission vehicle sales mandates,” he added.
— Updated at 1:22 p.m.
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