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60 Companies and Organizations Urge California Governor to Sign Pro NGV Bill

Sixty companies have joined forces and are urging California Governor Brown to sign a bill that will encourage more big rigs powered by clean fuels to operate on California highways and roads.  Assembly Bill 2061 (D-Frazier) will speed the improvement of air quality in disadvantaged communities that are often heavily impacted by polluting diesel trucks weight limit by a small percentage.

Current law restricts the gross vehicle weight of trucks to 80,000 pounds. Because the energy storage and fuel delivery systems for zero emission (ZE) and near-zero (NZE) vehicles are presently heavier than diesel tanks, the restriction means that fleet operators who use cleaner technologies must carry smaller payloads, which creates a significant disincentive. AB 2061 would increase the weight limit for ZE and NZE trucks to 82,000 pounds and thereby improve the business case for cleaner trucks.

In 2015, the federal government passed the FAST Act, allowing a 2,000-pound exemption for cleaner heavy-duty vehicles on the federal interstate highway system, and required states to provide reasonable access for these heavier vehicles. Since then, 27 states, including Texas and Mississippi, have passed legislation to encourage the use of clean trucks.

The bill is co-sponsored by CALSTART, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, and San Diego County Disposal Association. AB 2061 passed out of the Assembly 76-0 and Senate 37-1, enjoying strong bipartisan support.

AB 2061 addresses a critical barrier that could have prevented the State of California from achieving its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. As noted in the letter signed by 60 companies states, “Heavy-duty vehicles are the most concentrated source of the state’s annual emissions from the transportation sector, causing 23% of transportation emissions while making up just 3% of the vehicles.”

“AB 2061 will enable the use of cleaner fuels in the trucks that are backbone of the California economy”, said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. “Allowing big rigs to operate on cleaner fuels will provide significant air quality benefits to low income communities that are often impacted by heavy truck traffic.”

The letter is available here.