Advanced Clean Trucks

What is the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Program?

The Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) program is a state-level regulation designed to accelerate the transition of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) to zero emission models. While ACT was originally enacted in California, there are currently 10 additional states that have formally committed to following the Golden State’s lead by adopting the ACT program, including:

Targeting Class 2b to Class 8 vehicles, ACT is built upon two provisions:

Manufacturer Sales Requirements: Manufacturers are required to sell an increasing percentage of zero emission trucks from 2024 to 2035. By 2035, zero emission trucks sales must reach

  • Class 2b-3 trucks: 55%
  • Class 4-8 trucks: 75%
  • Truck tractors: 40%

Company and Fleet Reporting: Fleet owners with 50+ trucks must report information regarding their existing fleets to help develop future zero emission deployment strategies.

Classes of trucks based on their gross vehicle weight rating

Class 1
Class 2
Class 2b
Class 3
Class 4
Class 5
Class 6
Class 7
Class 8

Why should my state adopt the ACT program?

Converting MHDV fleets to zero emission models would result in outsized economic, public health, climate, and environmental benefits for our communities. 

MHDVs are some of the most used vehicles on our roads, accounting for 24% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions despite representing just 5% of vehicles in the United States. These vehicles travel significantly more miles, with Class 8 semi-trucks traveling more than four times the vehicle miles traveled of the average passenger car, and heavy duty vehicles averaging 15 years on the road. This amount of activity, and the resulting tailpipe emissions, cause significant harm to our communities and our environment, particularly within frontline communities that are more likely to live near major trucking corridors and tend to be lower-income, people of color, or both.

The American Lung Association estimates that by 2050 the benefits of moving to zero emission MHDVs in the United States could amount to $735 billion in public health benefits due to cleaner air, 66,800 fewer premature deaths, 1.75 million fewer asthma attacks, and 8.5 million fewer lost days of work.

zeta medium and heavy duty white paper
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electrification: Weighing the Opportunities and Barriers to Zero-Emission Fleets
Average annual vehicle miles traveled by vehicle segment
MHDVs have the highest annual VMT throughout all segments, leading to massive amounts of fuel consumption. EVs would improve fuel efficiency and save fleet operators in fuel costs.
The disproportionate impact of particulate matter emissions on people of color
The disproportionate effects of particulate matter emissions are predominantly experienced by people of color across the U.S. (Source: American Lung Association)

How will the ACT program impact trucking companies in my state?

Fleet operators would benefit over the lifetime of the vehicle’s usage due to the lower total cost of ownership of zero emission trucks. This is due to a combination of factors, including the lower, more stable price of electricity used to fuel the vehicle, and the fact that electric vehicles have fewer parts and lower maintenance costs.

For example, the California Air Resources Board estimates that a Class 8 electric truck (cement trucks, dump trucks, etc.) costs 4.7 cents less to operate per mile compared to an equivalent diesel vehicle. At the same time, this can result in better up-time for fleet operators. Combined, these benefits will surpass the higher upfront purchase price of a zero emission truck. Longer term, fleet operators could realize greater economic benefits as the upfront purchase prices of new zero emission trucks decrease as manufacturers scale their operations.

Will my utility be able to accommodate electric trucks?

Certainly! Electricity providers have a long history of meeting growing energy demand (such as the widespread adoption of refrigerators and air conditioning in the home), and are actively preparing for a future supporting electric transportation.

When discussing future energy needs, it should be noted that these efforts are focused on more than just increasing power generation. This is because 1) the transition to 100% EVs will not occur overnight, and 2) energy use fluctuates throughout the day resulting in predictable peaks in demand. That is why electricity providers are pursuing several approaches to EV charging, such as managed charging and incentive programs to encourage drivers to charge during off-peak hours and maximize the impact of our current resources.  

Many electricity providers have programs specifically designed to help fleet operators transition to EVs as part of these efforts.

Powering the EV Market: How Electricity Providers are Planning for the Future

Are the goals of the ACT program achievable?

Yes! The automotive industry has already aligned behind electrification as the most commercially viable way to decarbonize the transportation sector, with companies prioritizing investment in the EV supply chain to meet these goals and EV models now available in all MHDV categories.

Recent research has shown that electric MHDV models can meet the range needs of most trucking routes and that the majority of MHDV charging will occur overnight at trucking depots, simplifying the installation of MHDV charging infrastructure in the short-term. At the same time, fleet operators will benefit from lower total cost of ownership and decreasing upfront costs as manufacturers scale their operations.

Providing regulatory certainty through ACT would help protect these investments and prevent backtracking on transportation decarbonization.

What is the current state of ACT implementation?

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