A new California law is touted to help the state transition from diesel fuel use. The new rule addresses insurance data gaps for zero-emission trucks and truck fleets that use advanced fuels and related technologies.
Gov. Gavin Newsom previously announced the California Air Resources Board 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.
Advanced Clean Fleets
Known as Advanced Clean Fleets, the new rule is described as helping put California on a path toward accomplishing the governor’s goal of fully transitioning trucks that travel across the state to zero-emissions technology by 2045.
“This rule provides manufacturers, truck owners and fueling providers the assurance that there will be a market and the demand for zero-emissions vehicles, while providing a flexible path to making the transition toward clean air,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in previous remarks.
Insurance data collection
The new law signed by the governor requires the California Department of Insurance to collect data on the availability and affordability of insurance for battery-powered, hydrogen-powered or other zero-emission trucks.
Additionally, CDI will work with CARB to create an “online insurance information resource tool” for the public to find information and insurance options for affected vehicles. The process must be completed by Jan. 1, 2025.
Assemblymember Mike Gipson, D-Carson, has said that fleets adopting zero-emission technologies may be facing a limited market for insurance, which could slow deployment of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.
The Department of Insurance said the new law, AB844, will help accelerate the transition to clean-air technology to make sure clean fleets have access to available and affordable commercial insurance.
“This bill aims to support the rapid adoption of cleaner trucking technologies by directing the California Department of Insurance to gather data on the emerging marketplace and identify potential barriers to expanding insurance options,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara wrote in recent remarks.
Gipson added that slowed deployment would hamper the state’s ability to meet upcoming deadlines for fleets to transition to new zero-emission technologies.
California Trucking Association supports the new rule
The California Trucking Association stated in testimony 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, the American Trucking Associations said the cost to insure affected trucks is expected to “increase dramatically.” LL