California is saying goodbye to diesel trucks even faster than previously planned - by 2036 it will be over with new purchases.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB), the California government commission, recently voted on its Advanced Clean Fleets regulations: The members unanimously decided to ban the sale of medium-duty and heavy-duty diesel trucks starting in 2036 . From 2036, only locally emission-free trucks may be offered as new vehicles in California.
From 2035, the responsible politicians in California want to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines. A ban on new diesel trucks should come into effect from 2040 – that date has now been brought forward by five years. After all, California's governor Gavin Newsom (Democratic Party) wants only locally emission-free medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks to be on the road in the most populous US state with almost 40 million inhabitants by 2045. This is why state and municipal authorities have an even stricter timetable for vehicles: 50 percent of the vehicles purchased must be locally emission-free by 2024, and 100 percent by 2027. There are even vehicles like this for heavy articulated lorries, Tesla, for example, has been delivering the semi truck drop by drop since the end of 2022 . The electric car manufacturer used to be based in California, but now has its headquarters in Texas. Toyota has developed a fuel cell retrofit for older trucks .
California with the toughest emission regulations worldwide
The US state of California is known for its tough emission regulations. As a result, another group of vehicles has been banned from the West Coast state's roads since the beginning of the year: diesel-powered trucks and buses with engines from the 2010 model year or earlier. In the extreme case, they are just a little over 13 years old, which is a low age for vehicles of this type. According to statistics from the American "Diesel Technology Forum" in California in the year before last, only 48 percent of all diesel-powered commercial vehicles were from the 2011 model year or later.
However, the regulation only affects commercial vehicles in US classes four to six with a permissible total weight between 14,001 and 26,000 American pounds (equivalent to 6.35 to 11.8 tons). If a correspondingly old truck or bus still has its original engine, it must be exchanged for a newer one, which is then no longer subject to any limitations. Heavier vehicles in classes seven and eight must at least have a particle filter that meets the requirements of the Californian environmental protection agency CARB or also be equipped with a younger diesel engine.
Criticism from the truck industry and freight forwarders
According to CARB estimates, around 200,000 buses and over 70,000 trucks are affected by the new law. No wonder US truck manufacturers and trucking companies in and around California aren't very enthusiastic about the diesel ban. We know the complaints from the diesel driving bans imposed in Germany as a result of the emissions scandal in 2015: there is a lack of the necessary certified parts (especially particle filters and especially in times of disrupted supply chains). In addition, the conversion is an expensive undertaking - especially for operators of larger fleets. Nevertheless, according to CARB, 1.58 million commercial vehicles have already been converted in accordance with the regulations since the law was passed.
However, there are exceptions. For example, when a vehicle travels less than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) per year. If a particle filter is on board, the mile limit increases to 15,000 (24,140 kilometers) or 20,000 (32,187 kilometers) for refuse trucks. Less stringent requirements also apply to agricultural vehicles and state or municipal fleets.
Law of 2008
By the way, the regulation is not entirely new. California passed the law back in 2008 and tightened it up in 2014. Since January 2015, old commercial vehicles have been gradually phased out on this basis or their owners have been forced to convert to more modern engines or to be fitted with particle filters. Since the regulation is often ignored, the CARB wants to establish significantly stricter controls. Correspondingly old trucks and buses have to be checked for emissions every year; In addition, the authority wants to carry out more checks on California's trunk roads.
However, California isn't just banning diesel trucks and buses from its roads. In the summer of 2022, the most populous state in the USA passed a CARB-driven law that would ban the sale of cars with pure combustion engines from 2035. As early as 2026, the west coast state will prescribe specific minimum shares of electric or hydrogen cars for manufacturers when selling their cars, which must then be at least 35 percent cumulative (68 percent from 2030).
Note: In the photo show we show you the Western Star 57X, a new hooded long-distance truck from the Daimler Group.
Concise headlines à la "California bans diesel vehicles" have made people sit up and take notice and have already made some contemporaries flush with anger. In fact, this topic is "only" about commercial vehicles above a certain weight class, which also have to meet other specific conditions. Nevertheless, with this regulation the state underpins its reputation for having the world's toughest emissions regulations for vehicles.It looks as if California and its environmental agency CARB are striving to maintain this in the future - keyword is a ban on combustion engines from 2035.
In addition, there is now a ban on new diesel trucks from 2036. By 2045 only locally emission-free vehicles will then be allowed drive in California.