The Governor highlights some awe-inspiring figures on freight’s role in California’s economy, including making up one-third of the State's economy and jobs, with freight-dependent industries accounting for over $700 billion in revenue and over 5 million jobs.
No wonder “truck driver” is the State’s most common job.
2. The Plan Could Lead to Emission Caps for Freight Hubs, including Warehouses and Distribution Centers
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) floated the idea of emission caps for freight hubs in a draft version of the Plan this April. This new rule would impact operations at thousands of facilities across the State, including ports, air freight hubs, railyards and warehouses/distribution centers.
Which is another way to say that…
3. The Plan could be Expensive
Although not commercialized, zero-emission truck technology (such as battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell) is expected to cost as much as 3 to 4x as much as their brand-new diesel counterparts. The range of these vehicles is also limited, going less than 80 miles per charge for battery-electric and less than 200 miles per fueling for hydrogen fuel cell.
Given the huge advances in modern emission control technology, we’d be spending a lot to clean up very little. In order to balance these priorities with the dire need for working class jobs in California…
4. The Plan Calls for “Clear Targets” for Freight Efficiency, Economic Competitiveness and a Transition to Zero-Emissions
By July 2016, the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Transportation, the California Energy Commission, and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development must develop an integrated action plan to achieve each target. The State has already adopted a goal to put 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025. We could see similar numerical targets for commercial vehicles and other freight equipment, despite the fact that most zero-emission freight technology is trailing passenger cars by decades.
How “freight efficiency” and “economic competitiveness” will be defined is yet to be seen. However, making the economic sustainability of an industry responsible for 1/3rd of California’s economic a co-equal priority is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.