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California Truckers Race To Buy Diesel Rigs Ahead Of New Zero-Emission Rule

Logistics and trucking companies in California are rushing to buy diesel-powered rigs ahead of a new state mandate that will require from January 1, 2024 trucks bought after that date and serve Californian ports be zero-emission vehicles.

Executives at trucking companies in the U.S. state with the strictest vehicle pollution standards tell The Wall Street Journal that they prefer to buy diesel rigs now to buying electric trucks next year at triple the price of a diesel heavy-duty vehicle and facing possible issues with not enough charging stations.

“We are trying to take the hit now at a lot more reasonable cost per month versus buying electric trucks next year,” Manny Carrillo, chef executive at Talon Logistics, told the Journal.

California looks to have, beginning January 1, 2024, only zero-emission drayage trucks that can register in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Online System. Non-zero-emission drayage trucks may register in the CARB system through December 31, 2023.

So all trucks servicing the ports in California, including the busiest U.S. Port of Los Angeles, should either be zero-emission, or conventional trucks registered before the end of this year.

In addition, California aims to have all drayage trucks entering seaports and intermodal railyards be zero-emission by 2035.  

The rule, intended to incentivize the purchase and use of electric trucks, is currently creating a run on diesel rigs as logistics company owners prefer to pay much lower prices for conventional vehicles ahead of the January 1 deadline.  

In April, California’s regulators unanimously voted to move with a plan to ban the sales of new diesel trucks as of 2036 as part of the state’s push to clean up its transportation sector emissions.

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CARB approved a first-of-its-kind rule that requires a phased-in transition toward zero-emission medium-and-heavy duty vehicles. Under the new rule, named Advanced Clean Fleets, all truck sales need to shift to zero emissions by 2036 and is especially focused on large fleets of polluting vehicles. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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