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SACRAMENTO December 12, 2019 – In a collaborative effort to protect public health and accelerate the transition to clean transportation, California is joining with seven other states in committing to develop an action plan to put hundreds of thousands more zero-emission trucks and buses on their roads and highways, the California Air Resources Board announced today.

The Statement of Intent comes as the Board holds its first meeting to consider a proposed Advanced Clean Trucks regulation that would establish sales and reporting requirements for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The board is expected to consider the first of its kind regulation for adoption next year.

“Trucks are increasingly a major contributor to air pollution nationwide, but especially in our cities where they are among the largest sources of toxic emissions in vulnerable neighborhoods,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “We need to design a regulatory program that gets to the heart of this problem. We will move farther faster in partnership with other states who share the same commitment to cleaning up trucks and protecting public health.” 

States joining with California to on the effort to accelerate deployment of zero-emission trucks and buses are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. The partnering states agree that accelerating the transition to zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles is a critical part of reducing climate-altering carbon pollution and harmful smog-forming pollutants and particulate matter that disproportionately impacts urban communities and people living near major truck routes and distribution hubs.

This new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle collaborative effort will also be implemented through the ZEV Task Force and facilitated by NESCAUM. It will pursue similar coordinated action with industry and stakeholders to identify and address cost, fueling infrastructure, and other barriers.

“Many communities in Connecticut are located near major trucking routes, ports and other trucking hubs and are particularly vulnerable to the harmful health impacts of air pollution from diesel trucks and further contributing to the climate crisis. As the federal government continues to ignore the public health of our citizens and the impacts of climate change, state leadership in pursuit of decarbonizing the transportation sector is needed now more than ever,” said Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner, Katie Dykes.

“Promoting the adoption of electric vehicles isn’t limited to cars and light trucks and we are grateful for the collaboration with other states and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. 

“We welcome the opportunity to spur the introduction of zero-emitting medium- and heavy-duty trucks to help reduce emissions and make New Jersey stronger and fairer for everyone, especially those in neighborhoods who are disproportionately affected by emissions from these vehicles. This new initiative will build on the New Jersey’s continued momentum in electric vehicles and will be an integral part of our strategy to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

Exciting new technology developments in the medium- and heavy-duty sector are making zero emission public transit and school buses commercially viable, as well as in a growing number of other applications, such as delivery vans and garbage and utility service vehicles. The signatory states are already working to expand the market for MHD ZEVs. 

California has invested nearly $1 billion in cap and trade proceeds into a variety of demonstration and pilot projects to accelerate and promote the commercialization of zero- and near-zero medium and heavy duty trucks and buses. Companies with large fleets, including Pepsico and FedEx, are partners in these initiatives, along with a broad range of other technology partners. 

Other participating states are providing incentives for zero emitting freight trucks, transit buses and school buses; introducing electric shuttle and urban buses into transit fleets; allocating Volkswagen settlement funds toward medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification; and piloting innovative approaches such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) electric school buses.