California has been considered a pioneer in zero-emission mobility for decades and this is not expected to change. This week Californian legislators decreed that from 2024 a minimum proportion of newly registered trucks, pickups and vans must be emission-free. The transition from diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles is thus to be accelerated to battery electric and fuel cells.
This makes California not only the first state in the USA to adopt such a regulation, but also the first region in the world to do so. With 40 million inhabitants, California not only represents more than 10 percent of the US population, it is also half as populous as Germany with a 20 percent larger area.
According to the guidelines passed on Thursday, at least 40 percent of trucks with trailers sold in California would have to be powered by some form of zero-emission technology by 2024. Medium-duty trucks like the Ford F-250 or Chevrolet Silverado HD would have to convert more than 55 percent of their sales by 2035; and 75 percent of vans would have to be equipped with zero-emission drive technology by 2035. By then, 100 percent of government fleets and vans would have to be emission-free.
A number of truck manufacturers already offer electric or fuel cell vehicles, such as Daimler and MAN. But also new companies like Nikola Motors, Tesla, or Rivian have announced emission-free truck and pickups announced.