California adopts landmark zero-emissions truck rule

Electric truck seen in Minnesota. Minnesota Army National Guard

California regulators approved a landmark rule Thursday requiring automakers to sell electric trucks in the state.

The rule will require at least 40% of all tractor-trailers, and 75% of delivery trucks and vans, sold in California to be zero emissions by 2035, according to The New York Times. Though work trucks and delivery vans make up a small fraction of vehicles on the road, they are some of the largest sources of pollution in the transportation sector, in part because they travel so many more miles than regular passenger vehicles. The rule will have outsized benefits for communities of color which are exposed to significantly higher levels of pollution.

“You’re talking about upward of 21,500 trucks that travel through our communities per day,” Anthony Victoria, a community organizer in the largely Latinx Inland Empire who organized volunteers to count trucks near an Amazon hub, told the New York Times. At least seven states and Washington, D.C. are expected to adopt the rule.

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