A California bill moving through the statehouse is touted to address existing insurance data gaps for heavy-duty trucks and truck fleets that use advanced fuels and related technologies.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month the California Air Resources Board had reached a Clean Truck Partnership with leading truck manufacturers. The partnership is intended to help meet the state’s first-in-the-nation zero-emission vehicle truck standards.
The action stems from a CARB regulation approved this spring that no new fossil-fueled medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks will be sold in the state starting in 2036.
Legislative action to address data gaps
The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill that would require the California Department of Insurance to collect data on the availability and affordability of insurance for affected trucks. Assembly lawmakers previously approved a similar version.
Assemblymember Mike Gipson, D-Carson, is the bill author. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is the bill sponsor.
The pair wrote that zero-emission trucks can face challenges in obtaining insurance. They cite new technologies without long histories of “actuarial and insurance information.”
Gipson added that fleets adopting zero-emission technologies may be facing a limited market for insurance, which could slow deployment of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.
In addition, he said slowed deployment would hamper the state’s ability to meet upcoming deadlines for fleets to transition to new zero-emission technologies.
“This bill hopes to address potential barriers for new insurance options and data gaps in order to accelerate the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty trucks,” an executive summary of the bill reads.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to advance the bill. AB844 could soon come up for a Senate floor vote. If approved there, it would head back to the Assembly for approval of changes before moving to the governor’s desk.
State trucking association backs effort
The California Trucking Association has provided testimony in support.
The group stated that “early adopters of zero-emission trucks have indicated that insurers were initially reluctant to underwrite them and, in some cases, only agreed to insure the partial value of the truck.” Additionally, they said the cost to insure affected trucks is expected to “increase dramatically.” LL