EPA on Friday gave California the authority to require that half of all new heavy-duty vehicles sold in the state by 2035 be electric. 

California had to get waivers from federal emission requirements to implement the planned phase-out of fossil-fuel trucks. 

“Under the Clean Air Act, California has longstanding authority to address pollution from cars and trucks. Today’s announcement allows the state to take additional steps in reducing their transportation emissions through these new regulatory actions,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. 

EPA said in its decision that “Congress intentionally structured this waiver provision to restrict and limit EPA’s ability to deny a waiver. The provision was designed to ensure California’s broad discretion to determine the best means to protect the health and welfare of its citizens.”

To meet the state’s carbon neutrality goal for 2045, the California regulation requires 3% of commercial truck sales to include ZEV models starting in 2024 and phasing up to 60% for some truck classes by 2045, which will lead to an estimated 300,000 sold in the state by 2035. CARB staff anticipate ZEVs will make up 76% of the total statewide fleet inventory by 2045. 

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The agency is set to approve a new rule for fleets in April that is likely to set a ban on all sales by 2036.

“Despite persistent lobbying from the trucking industry to delay the waiver process, California will finally be able to move forward with clean air standards aimed at reducing emissions from deadly diesel trucks,” said East Peterson-Trujillo, clean vehicles campaigner at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.