Senator Leyva’s “Cleaner and Greener Trucks” Bill Signed Into Law

SB 372 Will Make Zero Emission Vehicle Transition an Easier and More Equitable Option for Fleets of All Types and Sizes

Thursday, October 7, 2021

SACRAMENTO – To reduce air pollution and boost funding and deployment of zero emission vehicles in California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) to create an innovative state program, which will—in consultation with stakeholders—design new financing tools to help owners of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles purchase cleaner zero-emission alternatives.

Specifically, SB 372 will establish the Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Fleet Purchasing Assistance Program within the Air Quality Improvement Program at the California Air Resources Board.  Set to be administered by the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, the program will make diverse financing tools and non-financial supports available to medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets in order to enable them to transition to zero-emission vehicles.

“Living and working in the Inland Empire—as well as representing communities across the region—I firmly believe that, in order to improve the health of families living in the I.E. and across California, we must clean up the air pollution caused by medium- and heavy-duty trucks traveling on our roads and freeways,” Senator Leyva said.  “Now that SB 372 has been signed into law, I look forward to this helping to ensure that zero emission vehicle transition is a more equitable option for fleets of all types and sizes in California.  Every Californian deserves access to clean air and SB 372 will help us more quickly make that a reality.”

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses are a major source of air pollution in California, responsible for about 35 percent of statewide nitrogen oxide emissions and approximately 26 percent of total statewide diesel particulate matter emissions. While comprising less than 10% of all vehicles on the road nationally, medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for 60% of tailpipe NOx and particulate emission from their on-road fleets. (1) These emissions hurt the health of Californians, especially in underserved communities and disproportionately affected populations. Replacing these vehicles with zero-emission alternatives is necessary to reduce the harmful air pollution that negatively affects public health and worsens climate change.

SB 372 was sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and—since its introduction earlier this year—has earned the support of many community action, environmental, health, municipal utilities and other organizations, including Center for Community Action & Environmental Justice, Association of California Water Agencies, Calstart Inc., Coalition for Clean Air, Western State Hydrogen Alliance, Sierra Club California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inland Empire Utilities Agency and California Municipal Utilities Association.

(1) Lowell, D., & Culkin, J. (2021). (rep.). Medium- & Heavy-Duty Vehicles Market structure, Environmental Impact, and EV Readiness. Environmental Defense Fund & M.J. Bradley & Associates. Retrieved from https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/documents/EDFMHDVEVFeasibilityReport22jul21.pdf