There are two big news stories in California trucking- Assembly Bill 5 and the California Air Resources Board proposed rule for zero-emission trucking fleets. Here’s what you need to know about the future of California trucking.
Assembly Bill 5 Effects
AB5, which we explained in detail here, took effect in August. Since then, there have been few developments. It has been poorly received by truckers in the state but the consequences haven’t been all negative.
According to Transportation Topics, state prosecutors have not taken carriers to court to enforce the law. There are still talks to continue the development of the law, perhaps to avoid the issue truckers will face.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has started to develop a rule that might have a massive impact on trucking as we know it. This rule would “require more than 518,000 zero-emission trucks on the road by 2040, and as many as 1.5 million trucks on the road by 2050” (Cal Matters). The goal of making trucking in the state zero-emission has received massive amounts of criticism since it was first talked about in 2008. Here are some of the issues raised:
One of the biggest criticisms is that there is nowhere close to the infrastructure needed to achieve this goal. At the current pace, there would need to be 2,000 zero-emission converted trucks in the Long Beach/ LA area by 2025. There would need to be 100 megawatts of charging infrastructure within those two years. Currently, less than 1% of this infrastructure exists.
Further, this example only uses the Long Beach/ LA area but this is a state-wide issue. There are serious issues that are presented by scaling up to the rest of the state.
Cost for companies
Some trucking companies are worried about the upgrade cost to clean energy fleets. CARB expects companies to be hit with a higher upfront cost to move towards zero emissions but anticipates these costs to decrease as demand for clean energy supplies increases.
Is this enough?
There are concerns among environmentalists that this isn’t a fast enough solution. They say the first goal of 518,000 zero-emisisons trucks by 2040 should be sped up to the same number by 2036. These environmentalists point out that the areas most affected by a worsening climate are communities that are historically impoverished. They argue that environmental injustice is contributing to the lack of upward mobility already experienced by these communities.
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