Frazier introduces bill to put more clean-energy trucks on the road

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, has introduced legislation to level the playing field for zero emission and near zero emission trucks by ensuring they can have the same carrying capacity as diesel and gasoline powered trucks. AB 2061, the Clean Truck Deployment Act, would remove weight-limit barriers that currently constrain the use of -zero-emission and near zero emission trucks in California.

“Heavy-duty vehicles – from garbage trucks to big-rigs – that burn diesel or gasoline are the most concentrated source of greenhouse gas emissions on our roads,” Frazier said. “Incentivizing the use of trucks powered by clean technology is crucial to reducing harmful pollution and meeting the state’s emission reduction goals.”

The engine and propulsion systems in electric, hydrogen and natural gas powered trucks weigh more than the traditional internal combustion engine by as much as 2,000 pounds.  These cleaner energy trucks currently have to reduce their carrying capacity in order to comply with state weight laws, providing a disincentive for businesses to invest in cleaner trucks. AB 2061 would increase the weight limits for zero emission and near zero emission vehicles so they can compete on an equal playing field with diesel and gasoline powered trucks.

Research by the California Air Resources Board finds that transportation accounts for nearly 40 percent of all of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Diesel and gasoline big rigs and other heavy-duty trucks are the most concentrated source, making up only 3 percent of the vehicles on the road but accounting for 23 percent of transportation emissions.

“Major transportation corridors tend to run next to lower-income and disadvantaged communities and the pollution from these trucks disproportionately impacts this segment of our population,” Frazier added. “The issue is also one of environmental justice. Our obligation to protect all Californians makes it even more imperative to speed up replacing dirty trucks with cleaner ones.”

AB 2061 is supported by the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, CALSTART, San Diego County Disposal Association, Clean Energy and Tesla. There is no known opposition.

“Heavy duty trucks are creating the most pollution on our roads and in our neighborhoods.  If we are going to incentive public and private fleets to transition to cleaner alternative trucks we must remove any and all hurdles,” said Thomas Lawson, president of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition.  “This bill seeks to do just that and I look forward to working with Assemblymember Frazier on helping California join the 22 states that have already enacted similar measures.”

"We must work together to knock down barriers to the near zero and zero emission trucks that are needed to improve our communities’ health and meet California’s ambitious climate goals,” said Bill Van Amburg, executive vice president of CALSTSART, an industry organization dedicated to the growth of a clean transportation technologies. “CALSTART is proud to work with our partners and Assemblymember Frazier on this important clean tech bill, AB 2061, which removes a key obstacle that is holding back our cleanest trucks – natural gas, electric, and fuel cell – and helps to get them on the road faster.”

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Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

CONTACT: Andrew Bird (916) 319-2011     Andrew.Bird@asm.ca.gov