Zero-emission fleet regulations coming to some cities in early 2024

Nov 17, 2021

The California Air Resources Board has developed a series of new regulations to accelerate the number of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle purchases in order to achieve a full transition to zero emissions in California by 2045. These regulations will affect some cities as soon as Jan. 1, 2024.  

On Jan. 1, 2024, city, county, special district, and state with more than 50 vehicles in their fleets will be required to take an inventory of their fleet. By March 1, 2024, they will be required to submit an inventory report to the Resources Board. Additionally, for applicable local authorities, 50% of all new motor vehicle purchases in each calendar year must be zero-emission starting Jan. 1, 2024. This number rises to 100% by January 2027 and includes all vehicle classifications, from class 2b to class 8.

The League of California Cities supports the overall goal to reduce emissions in the transportation sector and local cities are demonstrating tremendous leadership by facilitating transportation electrification in their local communities. However, the Resources Board’s aggressive proposal heavily burdens cities, many of which are still struggling to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and other large-scale emergencies, such as wildfires.

The current proposals ignore the time and resources needed to develop electric systems and storage facilities that support an electrified fleet of emergency, water, and sewer utility vehicles. For example, with existing city vehicles operating 8-12 hours a day and traveling 180+ miles to perform trash services, there is a dearth of available zero-emission vehicles that meet the needs of both a community and the state’s regulations. 

Regardless of the size, available resources, and existing infrastructure, every city in California will be impacted by these proposed regulations. Moreover, interruptions in supply chains and a lack of existing technology for heavy-duty vehicles, as well as reliance on city vehicles for essential services such as water, sewer, transportation, and stormwater — especially during emergencies — must be taken into consideration before such regulations are enacted. 

For cities interested in submitting a letter to the California Air Resources Board to request an exemption, or for more information, please contact Legislative Affairs Lobbyist Damon Conklin.