The Biden Administration has announced new clean air standards which target heavy-duty truck emissions.
Although the rule change won’t take effect until 2027, it is the first update of its kind in years. When active, the regulation is expected to significantly reduce hazardous gases resulting from heavy-duty truck emissions. The vehicles account for roughly 30% of all traffic related air pollution.
Unfortunately, meeting the requirements could be a struggle for truckers and businesses alike. The rules will require replacements or upgrades to current models, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Electric trucks are unlikely to provide a solution any time soon. The power and range needed for most commercial transit operations surpasses what any model on the market can provide, although Tesla has teased a semi-truck it claims can travel 500 miles. However, since the truck emission policies won’t apply for several years, truckers and companies have some time to prepare.
The President has made climate change a major focus of his administration, and has mostly used the Inflation Reduction Act to achieve his objectives. For consumers and automakers, this has meant generous new tax credits on EV purchases and production. However, while the transition may be unstoppable, it certainly does not come without financial risk. The auto-industry has invested roughly $1 trillion into electric vehicle manufacturing, but has failed to grow the technology’s market share at a substantial enough rate to generate returns. Commercial freight drivers will run a similar risk as they search to upgrade their rigs in time for the truck emission rules to take place. It remains to be seen if the federal government will provide additional assistance, but until then, it may fall to dealerships to help truckers afford the transition.
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