Don’t be scared truckers and fleets, but CARB (California Air Resources Board) is back with a new slate of initiatives designed to explore zero emission vehicle technology. At the moment, these proposals are focused on evaluating the current state of ZEV technology, exploring the potential for increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of these technologies in the future, as well as looking at other, non-vehicle means of further improving air quality in California. We’ve already seen glimpses of a driverless future, and now this new initiative could be yet another obstacle for truckers to overcome. While many truckers and truck companies are often skeptical of CARB’s press releases, zero emission vehicles could be on the horizon.
What is a Zero-Emission Vehicle?
A zero-emissions vehicle, or ZEV for short, is one that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power. Since these pollutants usually come from a fuel-powered engine, many are seeking alternatives that would not emit pollutants. We’ve seen hybrids and battery-powered vehicles on the rise, and CARB believes that it’s time to introduce them into the trucking world.
Less Emission = Less Money
CARB is known for coming up with controversial initiatives designed to decrease the carbon footprint of all Golden State truckers, and it’s no surprise that this initiative has many fleets grumbling. The proposal could lead to new mandates that could make it more difficult, and more importantly, expensive to move freight in the state. Zero emission vehicles are a great concept to consider, but due to California’s super-charged economic engine, ranked the sixth strongest in the world, CARB regulations, these changes could create a ripple effect that could impact the entire US economy.
The International Zero Emission Vehicles Alliance
What is the International Zero Emission Vehicles Alliance? Think CARB, but on a bigger scale. This international program describes itself as, “a collaboration of national and subnational governments working together to accelerate adoption of ZEVs. The participants set ambitious, achievable targets for ZEV deployment, take actions to achieve those targets as appropriate in each jurisdiction, act together to achieve individual and collective targets, and encourage and support other jurisdictions in setting and achieving ambitious ZEV targets.” It’s no surprise they’ve backed CARB on many of their initiatives and have tried to sway many California politicians to acknowledge the need to address the state’s carbon footprint.
Don’t panic just yet truckers. There have been no formal proposals or regulations implemented on the banning of diesel, but it should still be something to monitor and could be something that happens in the future. A diesel ban could create a shockwave that travels across the entire US economy. Many truckers hope that the focus turns to freight efficiency, instead of an all out ban on diesel. Either way, clean-air advocates and truck drivers must come to a compromise in the near future.