It’s no secret that lawmakers in California seemingly dislike diesel trucks. Even though these workhorses pull freight to and from the country’s largest ports and keep the economy alive. For some reason, just being emissions-compliant doesn’t ever seem to be enough.
In a recent industry email, we learned that Diesel Technology Forum issued a statement from Executive Director Allen Schaeffer regarding commercial trucks in California. That email stated, “this week, an important milestone was attained for trucking in California, where those operating most commercial diesel trucks must have the newest generation of advanced diesel technology under the hood.”
The email went on to state, “In a stroke of brilliance, the California Air Resources Board Truck and Bus Fleet Regulation now require that, with few exceptions, only 2010 and newer generation diesel commercial vehicles are allowed to be registered in the state. Basically, if you make your living on the west coast by driving an older rig, either find the money to buy something newer or don’t haul any loads into California.”
“According to the Diesel Technology Forum’s analysis of data sourced from S&P Global Mobility TIPNet, data of vehicles in operation for Class 3 through 8 as of December 2021, 48 percent of all commercial diesel vehicles in California were 2011 and newer.”
“Overall, California lagged behind other states as the national average is 53 percent of all commercial diesel trucks being of the newest generation. In 2021, California was the sixth fastest-growing state for registrations of these new technology trucks, adding nearly 30,000 new units since 2020. This was likely in anticipation of this new rule taking effect.”
Buying a new rig is not an inexpensive endeavor, but, if there is a silver lining for older-model truck owners, the State of California provided a long lead time and financial assistance to the smallest fleets to aid in their compliance with the new rule. The Heavy-Duty Vehicle Air Quality Loan Program, also known as the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) CARB Truck Loan Assistance Program, was designed to support the implementation of the 2008 Truck and Bus Regulation. The program provided credit enhancement to small businesses upgrading to vehicles with model year engines 2010 or newer. CARB funded the program primarily through its Air Quality Improvement Program and contributed a total of $219 million from 2009 to 2022.
While we are all about keeping the air we breathe as clean as possible, we also have to wonder how many independent drivers will have to avoid the left coast because of this guideline. If you think getting products is already a challenge, let’s see where this takes us.