California is joining with seven other US American states to develop an action plan to put “hundreds of thousands” more emissions-free trucks and buses on roads and highways. The California Air Resources Board announced the initiative.
The other states involved in the electrification plan are currently Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. So far, they have met in a first meeting and produced a statement of intent for a proposed Advanced Clean Trucks regulation. This would involve sales and reporting requirements of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
The decision to focus on trucks and buses was made due to their massive impact on the environment in the US and their wide-spread use in supply chains. As CARB Chair Mary Nichols puts it: “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 neighbourhoods.”
Connecticut DoE and Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe took an extra step to add in a little political clout, beyond naming the health risks associated with living in polluted areas. She made it clear that the states expect no help from the federal government to clear up the air: “As the federal government continues to ignore the public health of our citizens and the impacts of climate change, state leadership in pursuit of decarbonising the transportation sector is needed now more than ever.”
While all states involved have previously made electrification efforts, with California leading the pack by investing nearly $1 billion in cap and trade proceeds, other incentives, such as Vehicle to Grid requirements or school bus acquisition plans, may also find their way into the final program. This is expected to hit the table sometime next year if all goes well.