These 15 States Pledge to Ban Sales of New Diesel-Powered Big Rigs by 2050

Washington D.C. – A coalition of 15 states is pledging to ban all sales of new diesel-powered big rigs by 2050.

On Tuesday, 15 states and the District of Columbia announced a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU), committing to work to fast-track the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks.


Each state governor is pledging that 100 percent of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales will be zero emission vehicles by 2050 with an interim target of 30 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

“Accelerating the electrification of trucks and buses is an essential step to achieve the deep economy-wide emission reductions needed to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and protect the health of millions of Americans,” a jointly released coalition statement said. “While trucks and buses only account for 4 percent of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for nearly 25 percent of total transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, emissions from trucks are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, and the number of truck miles traveled on the nation’s roads is forecast to continue to grow significantly in the coming decades.”


In addition to the benefits to the environment, the coalition argues such action is needed to address health and racial inequalities.

“Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are a major source of harmful smog-forming pollution, particulate matter, and air toxics. These emissions disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color often located near major trucking corridors, ports, and distribution hubs,” the coalition said.


The forming of the coalition comes less than one month after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously adopted a first-in-the-world rule, known as the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Regulation, requiring truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024.

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Under California’s plan, every new truck sold in the state must be zero-emission by 2045.

“California is proud to be joined by 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a push for clean, zero emission trucks,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said about the new coalition. “Our efforts in California will be magnified through the efforts of this multi-state coalition to reduce emissions and improve air quality, especially crucial in communities where our most vulnerable citizens live.”


States making the pledge are: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

What Are Critics Saying?

Critics say many questions remain about the viability of electric big rigs and point to the massive costs of building the infrastructure and charging stations throughout the country to service them.

Further, opponents of such measures assert the anti-business and burdensome regulatory climate in many of these states has only contributed to the problem.


Many trucking companies have been unable to afford to replenish its fleet with trucks equipped with “clean diesel technology” resulting in higher emitting trucks left on the road for longer, critics contend. will continue to follow this emerging issue.



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