California regulators align with EPA 2027 NOx standards in new partnership

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Updated Jul 12, 2023
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The California Air Resources Board (CARB), North American commercial vehicle OEMs and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) have reached a Clean Truck Partnership to advance the development of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for the commercial trucking industry while streamlining emission regulation timelines for California more in line with national goals.

The partnership agreement, which can be found on the CARB website, marks a commitment from the participating companies to meet California’s vehicle standards that will require the sale and adoption of zero-emissions technology in the state, regardless of whether any other entity challenges California’s authority to set more stringent emissions standards under the federal Clean Air Act. In turn, CARB states it has agreed to work collaboratively with manufacturers to provide reasonable lead time to meet CARB’s requirements and before imposing new regulations and to support the development of necessary ZEV infrastructure.

Organizations committed to the agreement include Cummins, Daimler Truck North America, Ford, General Motors, Hino, Isuzu, Navistar, Paccar, Stellantis, the Volvo Group and EMA.

[RELATED: MEMA submits comments to EPA regarding air quality regulations]

The biggest takeaway from the partnership is California's decision to align its state regulations with EPA’s 2027 regulations for nitrogen oxide emissions. CARB also will modify elements of the 2024 NOx emission regulations for which manufacturers will provide offsets as necessary to maintain California’s emission targets.

Other commitments include:

  • CARB commits to providing no less than four years lead time and at least three years of regulatory stability before imposing new requirements. 
  • Truck manufacturers commit to meeting CARB’s zero-emission and criteria pollutant regulations in the state regardless of any attempts by other entities to challenge California’s authority. 

“This agreement reaffirms EMA’s and its members’ longstanding commitment to reducing emissions and to a zero-emissions commercial vehicle future and it demonstrates how EMA and CARB can work together to achieve shared clean air goals," says EMA President Jed Mandel. "Through this agreement, we have aligned on a single nationwide nitrogen oxide emissions standard, secured needed lead time and stability for manufacturers, and agreed on regulatory changes that will ensure continued availability of commercial vehicles. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with CARB on future regulatory and infrastructure efforts designed to support a successful transition to ZEVs.”

[RELATED: ATA goes to Capitol Hill to fight for realistic emission regulation timelines]

“The unprecedented collaboration between California regulators and truck manufacturers marks a new era in our zero-emission future, where we work together to address the needs of both the trucking industry and the Californians who deserve to breathe clean air,” adds CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “This agreement makes it clear that we have shared goals to tackle pollution and climate change and to ensure the success of the truck owners and operators who provide critical services to California’s economy.”

The parties state the Clean Truck Partnership comes as California prepares for implementation of its landmark rules that put in place a phased-in transition toward 100% sale and use of zero-emissions technology for medium- and-heavy duty vehicles under CARB’s Advanced Clean Trucks and Advanced Clean Fleets rule by 2045. In March, the Biden administration approved California’s waiver under the federal Clean Air Act that allows the state to become the first in the world to require zero-emissions technology for trucks. By working together, the parties state California air quality regulators and truck manufacturers will ensure that the technology, infrastructure and supply will be available to meet the state’s ambitious clean air goals.

For more information from CARB and comments from industry OEMs on this landmark agreement, go to the CARB website.