The nonprofit, clean transportation consortium CALSTART has launched a program to assist trucking fleets in making the transition to zero-emission vehicles, serving as an alternative to traditional formats such as websites, workshops, and mailers.
Pasadena, California-based CALSTART said its Cal Fleet Advisor (CFA) program will inform medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) fleets of the ins and outs of transitioning to zero-emission vehicles, both to make it easier for fleets to move to zero-emission vehicles and to meet the state’s ambitious requirements on reducing the sales and use of internal combustion engines.
In March, federal regulators granted the state of California permission to set tighter vehicle emissions standards than national standards, clearing the way for the state to require that about half the trucks sold in California must be all-electric by 2035. But some transportation industry groups are complaining that the changes are set to roll out too quickly.
CALSTART hopes its program will help to ease that stress. Developed in partnership with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), CFA addresses the confusion experienced by MHD fleet operators as they begin to investigate the numerous resources, options, and requirements involved in making the transition to zero-emission vehicles.
According to CALSTART, CFA provides fleets with a single point of contact to help them navigate the process of identifying, financing, obtaining, and deploying zero-emission MHD vehicles for their businesses. It will also provide tracking and document-collection and -filing assistance to fleets, answer questions, offer advice and smooth the process in transitioning to zero-emission technologies.
Although available to all California fleets, CFA is primarily focused on assisting smaller businesses and independent owner-operators, especially underrepresented populations and those domiciled in disadvantaged communities, who often haven’t the time or resources to effectively research and implement the steps necessary to transition to zero-emission vehicles. The resource is particularly useful for and geared toward the drayage community, which faces more stringent decarbonization timelines than other California transportation sectors.
“California has adopted a number of regulations that will require medium- and heavy-duty fleet operators to transition to zero-emission vehicles in the coming years. There are lots of options and rules fleets are faced with, and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start,” Clare Bachman, Fleet Technical Assistance Project Manager at CALSTART, said in a release. “By adding a human element to information-sharing around zero-emission vehicles and funding, we will be able to help fleets determine exactly what they need to do, rather than have them take time out of their busy schedule to do it alone.”