Mandatory Transition to Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

Yard trucks are subject to the Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation (ACF) Drayage Truck Requirements and other regulations.

On April 28, 2023, California Air Resource Board (CARB) approved the ACF regulation, which includes Drayage and Yard Truck Requirements to transition to zero-emissions. The ACF drayage truck registration deadline is December 31, 2023.

Zero-Emission Yard Trucks
Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

What is a Drayage/Yard Truck?

Drayage trucks (aka Yard Truck) are in-use class 7 and 8 on-road, heavy-duty trucks that transport containers and bulk goods to and from seaports and intermodal railyards. Land ports of entry, which provide controlled entry to or departure from the United States, are not considered seaports or intermodal railyards.

Examples: Tractor truck, Terminal tractor, Straight truck, Chassis & cab, Yard truck, etc.

How will this Affect my Business?

From a business buyer’s perspective in the context of purchasing drayage/yard trucks, this announcement signifies a significant shift in regulations and industry standards. Let’s break down what this means for business buyers of drayage trucks:

Zero-Emission Yard Trucks
Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

Mandatory Transition to Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

Starting from January 1, 2024, all drayage trucks that need to be registered in the CARB (California Air Resources Board) Online System called TRUCRS (Truck Regulation Upload, Compliance, and Reporting System) must be zero-emission vehicles. This means that any new drayage trucks entering the California market after this date must operate without producing direct emissions, such as those from traditional internal combustion engines. Here are a list of the requirements:

All drayage trucks intending to begin or continue operations at a California seaport or intermodal railyard must be registered with CARB.Combustion powered trucks (non-zero-emission) must register in the CARB Online System by 12/31/23.Only zero-emission drayage trucks can register in the CARB Online System beginning 1/1/24.Beginning in 2035, all drayage trucks in the CARB Online System will be required to be zero-emission.

Deadline for Removing Existing Yard Trucks

For existing drayage trucks, there is a clear timeline provided. All trucks entering seaports and intermodal railyards must transition to zero-emission technology by 2035. This gives businesses a specified window to plan their investments and gradually replace their existing fleet with zero-emission vehicles.

Non-zero-emission drayage trucks in the CARB Online System, with a 2010 or newer model year engine AND that visit a seaport or intermodal railyard at least once in a year, would remain in the system until the earlier of 18 years or 800,000 miles, or a minimum of 13 years if the drayage truck has over 800,000 miles.Beginning in 2025, non-zero-emission trucks will be removed from the CARB Online System if they did not meet the annual visit requirement, OR if they have exceeded their minimum useful life requirements.On January 1, 2035, all non-zero-emission drayage trucks will be removed from the system.Foreign drayage trucks operating in California are not exempt from these requirements and will also be fully transitioned to zero-emission technology by 2035. The phase-in timeline requirements for drayage trucks will allow legacy drayage trucks to continue providing services until infrastructure is built that will support cross-border drayage activities. Foreign drayage trucks were also not exempt from previous Drayage Truck Regulation requirements.

Impact on Business Buyers: Investment Considerations

Zero-Emission Yard Trucks
Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

Immediate Shift: Businesses looking to buy drayage trucks in California need to invest in zero-emission technology immediately after January 1, 2024. This could impact their budget and procurement plans.

Long-term Planning: Businesses must plan for the long term. Considering the 2035 deadline, it’s essential to strategize the replacement of existing trucks with zero-emission ones, factoring in budgeting, financing, and operational adjustments.

Initial Investment: Zero-emission drayage trucks might have a higher upfront cost. Buyers need to evaluate the initial investment against long-term savings in fuel costs, maintenance, and potential incentives or subsidies available for adopting green technology.

Financial Planning: Businesses should plan their finances to accommodate the transition, exploring options like loans, leases, or government incentives to ease the financial burden of adopting zero-emission vehicles.

Environmental Compliance

Meeting Regulations: Business buyers need to ensure that the trucks they purchase comply with these regulations. Non-compliance could lead to fines and legal issues, making it crucial to invest in the right vehicles.

Eco-Friendly Reputation: Operating zero-emission vehicles enhances a company’s reputation as environmentally responsible, which can be a valuable asset for marketing and public relations.

Benefits:Expand public health and environmental benefits by increasing the use of zero-emission technology.Provide PM and NOX emission reductions to help attain regional and federal air quality standards.Provide GHG emission reductions to help meet the State’s GHG targets and climate goals.Accelerate the market for zero-emission trucks.Support the comprehensive statewide strategy to reduce emissions from freight transportation.

Zero-Emission Yard Trucks
Zero-Emission Yard Trucks

Technological Considerations

Technology Evaluation: Buyers need to assess the available zero-emission technologies such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, or other emerging options. Consideration should be given to factors like range, charging infrastructure, maintenance, and overall operational efficiency.

Partnerships and Support: Businesses may need to establish partnerships with suppliers and service providers to ensure proper maintenance, charging/fueling infrastructure, and training for staff to handle the new technology.

Two Types of Zero-emissions vehicles:Battery electric drayage truck. This vehicle runs on electricity stored in batteries and has an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. To recharge the battery pack, drayage truck owners may rely on publicly accessible chargers or at private facilities.Hydrogen fuel cell electric drayage truck. This vehicle runs on compressed hydrogen fed into a fuel cell “stack” that produces electricity to power the vehicle. Owners of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks may refuel via publicly accessible or private fueling stations.

In summary, from a business buyer’s perspective, this announcement necessitates careful planning, investment evaluation, and technological assessment. It’s not just a matter of complying with regulations but also an opportunity to invest in sustainable practices, improve the company’s image, and prepare for the future of transportation in a green and eco-friendly manner.

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