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One of the key issues surrounding the adaptation of green technologies is that conversations tend to circle where we need to be, rather than look at how we plan to get there. With great support on paper, California’s plan to phase out diesel trucks by 2036 doesn’t necessarily answer the question of how they plan to get to all emission free vehicles in time. Electrical power to recharge batteries, weight discrepancies and infrastructure desperately need to be addressed as the change happens. 


For a state that has a complicated relationship with maintaining enough electrical power, a full conversion to emission-free vehicles will require the infrastructure to provide power to the trucks required to move cargo into and out of ports across the state. Estimates show that the state will need to provide power for approximately 170,000 trucks on top of the other electricity needs. 


Once the state finds a way to produce the required power, there will need to be a revamping of infrastructure to hold the increased weight that comes with a battery powered truck. Considering the move to emission-free vehicles means $26.5 billion in public health savings, those public health benefits need to be reconciled with the chance of death in an accident increasing by 47% for every extra thousand pounds of vehicle weight. As those trucks will be significantly heavier, roads with maximum weight restrictions will need to be reconfigured to accommodate the increase since cargo isn’t getting any lighter. 


Section B, Part 2 of the Executive Summary of the The California Air Resources Board Public Hearing to Consider the Proposed Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation Staff Report: Initial Statement of Reasons explains how ports will handle the infrastructure and construction. “Compliance exemptions for dedicated use uni-body vehicles (e.g., auto transports), infrastructure construction delays [emphasis added], and ZEV vehicle delivery delays.” 


Part of choosing a logistics provider is finding someone who stays ahead of the curve and makes decisions based on long-term success for you and your cargo. At Coppersmith, we have eight decades of experience working with the California port system and employing measurable, attainable goals to meet the evolving rules and regulations that come from the battle against climate change. If you want to experience the Coppersmith difference, contact your representative today and learn why expertise matters. 

Bud Coppersmith

Author Bud Coppersmith

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