The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently set forth Advanced Clean Fleet (ACF) regulations. This ruling outlines the board’s goal to bring medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) to the mainstream market, thereby decreasing the Golden State’s carbon emissions. 

Over the coming decades, businesses must phase out traditional combustion trucks and replace them with high-performance, zero-emission vehicles. By 2036, all medium and heavy-duty truck manufacturers will produce only ZEV models. This ruling applies to fleets with on-road vehicles weighing over 8,500 pounds, including off-road tractors and light-duty package delivery vehicles. Commercial fleets required to follow this trend by filtering out gas and diesel-operated trucks include: 

  • Drayage fleets. 
  • High-priority fleets.
  • State, local, and federal government fleets. 

Zero-Emission Vehicle Timeline 

ACF is a statewide project taking place over the next 10 to 20 years. Beginning on January 1, 2024, organizations are required to purchase and register ZEVs only. Drayage fleets must transition to a fully emission-free status by 2035 with some exceptions — for example, fleets maintain the ability to utilize their existing trucks until the end of their use life. 

High-priority fleets include entities owning, operating, or directing at least one vehicle in California with at least $50 million in gross annual revenues. Entities with more than 50 vehicles in their fleet are also high priority.  Beginning in 2025, these organizations must follow the model year schedule and remove internal combustion vehicles from service at the end of their useful life. The regulation also requires state and local agencies to ensure 100% of their vehicle purchases are zero-emission by 2027. 

Existing Trucks and Equipment 

Transitioning to a complete zero-emission fleet doesn’t happen overnight. The ACF’s model year schedule begins in 2024 and allows all fleet types to continue utilizing their existing trucks until they reach 18 service years or 800,000 miles — whichever comes first. Fleets will have at least 13 years to phase out trucks with more than 800,000 miles logged. 

ZEV Milestone Option  

Fleets that fall into the high-priority, federal, state, or local categories can use the ZEV Milestone Option to meet their goals. This plan spreads the transition out over two decades, giving organizations time to replace their existing vehicles. Fleets must hit their specified targets each year to ensure they align with ACF and CARB compliance standards on schedule. 

These schedules vary by fleet type with three distinct groups. 

Milestone Group One includes box trucks, vans, tractors, delivery vehicles, and buses with two axles. These fleets must have 10% of their fleet be zero-emission by 2025. The percentage gradually increases: 

  • 25% by 2028 
  • 50% by 2031 
  • 75% by 2033 
  • 100% by 2035 

Milestone Group Two includes day cab tractors, work trucks, and buses with three axles. These fleets must work toward zero-emission status with the following percentages by year: 

  • 10% by 2027 
  • 25% by 2030 
  • 50% by 2033 
  • 75% by 2036 
  • 100% by 2039 

Milestone Group Three consists of sleeper cab tractors and specialty vehicles. These fleets must shift toward zero-emission status with rates increasing as follows: 

  • 10% by 2030 
  • 25% by 2033 
  • 50% by 2036 
  • 75% by 2039 
  • 100% by 2042 

Potential Funding Opportunities 

While zero-emission trucks often have high initial prices, reduced operating and maintenance costs will help offset costs over time. Numerous governmental and private agencies provide funding for fleets making the switch as well. Most of these financing opportunities will go to early adopters on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The 2021 and 2022 California State budgets have led the way by including $10 billion to support ZEVs and ZEV infrastructure construction over the next six years. CARB, the California Energy Commission, the California State Transportation Agency, and the Governor’s Office of Economic and Business Development will oversee these investments to ensure they meet the needs of the evolving transportation industry. 

The Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) is another program offering rebates to offset purchase prices of battery electric and fuel cell electric trucks and buses in Class 2b through 8. Larger rebates are available for private and public fleets. 

Other funding opportunities include:  

  • Truck Loan Assistance Program: This program assists small business owners in securing financing for fleet upgrades. Organizations with fewer than 100 employees, 10 heavy-duty vehicles, or less than $10 million in annual revenue over three years qualify.  
  • Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program: This program funds cleaner and newer technologies to replace high-polluting vehicles, engines, and equipment.  
  • Small e-Fleet Pilot Project: This program designates $25 million to help small trucking fleets and independently owned businesses access ZEVs. 

Reach out to Custom Truck One Source to Learn More 

If you want to learn more about adhering to CARB’s compliance standards beginning in 2024, Custom Truck One Source is ready to help. While we specialize in truck and heavy equipment sales, our professional service team is known for their dedication to delivering outstanding customer service. We can help you navigate the ever-evolving transportation industry to make the best decisions for your fleet. 

Contact us today to connect with a member of our team.