The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is known for championing ambitious sustainability and zero-emission initiatives that are stricter than the national standard. For example, this past May, CARB introduced a regulation that would prohibit the sale of combustion trucks in California by 2036. Read more here. This is just one step forward toward the board’s overarching objective of transitioning the state entirely to zero-emission trucks by 2045.
It can be easy to discount CARB regulations if you don’t live in California, but these developments have implications beyond the state’s borders. Trucks traveling long haul, interstate routes, or regional-haul routes through California could be impacted by CARB regulations, even if the fleet is headquartered in another state.
It’s also important to note that many states have already announced they plan to follow California’s policy lead. Sixteen states, the District of Columbia, and Quebec have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to achieve 100% medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle sales no later than 2050. They also released an action plan that highlights the adoption of California’s Advanced Clean Trucks and proposed Advanced Clean Fleets regulations as key actions to drive truck and bus electrification.
How CARB Standards Could Affect Your Fleet
Colby White, Great Dane’s Electrification Product Manager, says some fleets may inevitably need to begin the process of electrifying their equipment sooner than expected, including the trailer in
“CARB has set standards for straight body trucks, but they have not set standards for semi-trailers with refrigeration units–but they likely will.
I think the regulation will require reefer trailers to incorporate electrification,” White said. “We’re monitoring the situation and keeping a close eye on the situation to make sure we can keep our customers’ products moving.”
Outside of electrification, White said he also believes telematics equipment like FleetPulse, Great Dane’s standard telematics offering, will be more important than ever to help keep a fleet’s equipment working as efficiently as possible.
“I know it’s a cliché, but fleets need to make sure they’re running at peak performance and maximizing uptime,” he said. “For example, it’s important to keep an eye on data like tire inflation. When it comes to making sure the trailer is at its best, mechanically speaking, that’s something FleetPulse can report on and even offer predictive maintenance.”
Electrified Trailer Solutions
Chris Lee, Great Dane Vice President of Engineering, says the company is already working on electrified trailer solutions such as customized battery systems, onboard charging sources such as eAxles, or in wheel regen systems to charge batteries, to ensure the equipment Great Dane manufactures meets or exceeds CARB standards.
“New trailer technologies are being developed to provide solutions for clean energy sources onboard the trailer, such as battery systems to power the eTRU, which is powered by diesel today,” Lee said.
“The electrified trailer can be an energy source to provide power to the eTRU, and propulsion-assist capable trailers can assist the ICE power unit for fuel savings or extended range for electric vehicles. Trailer lightweighting can also help power the unit for fuel savings and range extension.”
Read more about electric trailers of tomorrow.
Fleet managers can stay ahead of the curve by getting ready now for potential CARB standards coming to their state. These fleets can reach out to manufacturer partners like Great Dane to help them prepare their equipment for the future.
WATCHING YOUR CARBS. WHICH STATES ARE NEXT?
The states that have adopted the emissions standards set by the California Air Resources Board are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico (2011 model year and later), New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington (2009 model year and later). The District of Columbia and Quebec have also adopted CARB standards.
In addition, a multi-state ZEV task force comprised of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont is committed to 30% of new sales of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in their jurisdictions being zero-emissions vehicles by 2030.