Commercial Goods Movement Through Land Ports in California
How are vehicles that cross at land ports affected by the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) Regulation?
Larger fleets of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) may be classified as High Priority Fleets (HPF) and would be subject to the ACF regulation’s requirements if they meet the following criteria. HPFs include any company that owns or operates at least one vehicle in California, and that has either: 1) $50 million or more in gross annual revenues or 2) own, operate or have common ownership or control of a total of 50 or more vehicles, including those outside California.
HPFs will need to phase in zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) over time based on their suitability. Under these requirements, the majority of affected semi-trucks will not have a ZEV requirement until 2027 or 2030 based on the ZEV milestones schedule.
Are trucks crossing at land ports of entry considered drayage trucks?
It is important to note that the vehicles that cross at these land ports of entry are not considered to be drayage trucks per the definition in ACF regulation. Only vehicles that enter seaports or intermodal railyards are defined as drayage trucks in the ACF regulation. Commercial vehicles that are not drayage trucks, are not part of an HPF, or are not under the common ownership and control of an HPF are not subject to ACF regulation’s ZEV requirements.
What efforts have been made to assist the border region with ACF related issues?
CARB staff first brought ACF to the attention of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) in October 2021, and have worked with the Chamber and others to inform fleets from the area of the ACF rule making. These efforts included:
- October 22, 2021, staff presented information on medium- and heavy-duty regulations including ACF and the Inspection and Maintenance regulation. Staff also presented this regulatory information at a Chamber member meeting.
- February 9, 2022, staff met with PROBAJA, the business development arm of the government of Baja California to hear concerns about the draft text of ACF regulation.
- April 4, 2022, began discussions with the Baja California representative of Cámara Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga (CANACAR), the national freight association of Mexico. CANACAR’s mission is to represent the interests of the national freight transport industry.
- Between February and May 2022, CARB organized ZEV infrastructure focused meetings with other state and local agencies, including CalEPA, California Energy Commission (CEC), California Department of Transportation, California Transportation Commission, Office of Lieutenant Governor, and San Diego Association of Governments, to gather expertise on charging infrastructure plans and funding opportunities that could assist truck fleets.
- On November 30, 2022, CARB held a zero-emission infrastructure roundtable hosted by San Diego County Supervisor and CARB Board Member Nora Vargas and attended by Environmental Health Coalition Executive Director and CARB Board Member Diane Takvorian, California Assemblymembers Alvarez and Garcia, the Otay-Mesa Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Gas and Electric, Trucking Associations from Baja, and others to discuss the ACF regulation.
- November 2, 2022, CARB staff met David Perez Tejada Padilla, a representative of the Governor of Baja California, Marina del Pilar Avila Olmeda, to discuss ACF, and any concerns from the government of Baja.
- In addition to these informational meeting, CARB has participated in a number of cross-border policy and economic development groups. These groups have included the following:
- September 14, 2022: CARB staff participated in the Commission of the California’s (COMCAL) working group held in San Diego. The purpose of this working group was to establish ties among principals and help identify next steps to collaborate with an initial focus on ZEVs.
- February 28, 2023: CARB staff traveled to participate for an in-person workshop for California-Mexico Discussion on Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles Transition hosted by UC Riverside Center for Environment Research & Technology and Alianza MX. The workshop included government authorities, industry trade associations, academia and fleet owners. Presentations were given by: CE-CERT, Usarios del transporte de carga, Nikola, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Asociación Nacional de Productores de Autobuses, Camiones y Tractocamiones (Mexico’s MHD Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) trade group), and CARB.
- March 23, 2023: CARB staff participated in a CALSTART sponsored panel discussion with representatives from the governments of Mexican, fleets and others entitled, “Electric trucks are here! Strategic policies and regulation in Mexico and California”. The discussions were meant to provide information on ACF and other CARB regulations, and lessons learned from California’s experience.
- March 30, 2023: CARB staff participated in a CALSTART sponsored workshop entitled “Scrappage & Incentive Programs” The workshop was invitation-only and consisted of national and subnational government officials in Mexico.
- April 19-20, 2023: CARB Chair Lianne Randolph participated in the CA-MX 2030 Forum in Mexico City and sponsored by Alianza UCMX and GO-Biz. Discussions included truck flows between Mexico and California and potential policies to reduce emissions from this sector. The objective of this summit was to evaluate the current state of the California-Mexico relationship and to identify key strategic areas for collaboration to address the most relevant bilateral challenges in this decade.
- CARB is a participating member of the USEPA’s Border 2025 San Diego - Tijuana Air Quality Task Force. CARB participates in presentations with the Taskforce members and Co-Chairs such as the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District and the City of Tijuana, State of Baja California, USEPA and Mexican federal agencies. Discussion of status updates on the Border 2025 action items and funded projects. Presentations on status of Tijuana monitoring, air quality trends and current memorandum of understanding between CARB and Tijuana. Status updates on border projects in the region. These meetings continue a quarterly basis, alternating between U.S. and Mexican locations.
- August 9, 2023, CARB staff conducted the Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Zero Emission Vehicle Regulations and Funding Programs Overview at the Southwestern Community College in Otay Mesa. Working with the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and CANACAR, the event was advertised to fleets on both sides of the border. Discussion topics included an ACF overview focusing on both drayage and High Priority Fleets, a presentation by the North American Development Bank, a presentation on Cal Fleet Advisor technical assistance program, and presentations on both vehicle and infrastructure incentive programs. Staff were also available to answer questions at an information booth.
- October 20, 2023, CALSTART and CARB hosted a ride and drive along with presentations on the ACF regulation, Cal Fleet Advisor, both incentive and infrastructure incentives, and a new presentation providing information on what fleets need to know when choosing a medium- or heavy-duty ZEV. This event was held at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheater in Chula Vista, and working with the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and CANACAR, the event was advertised to fleets on both sides of the border.
Upcoming Events and meetings
- In July, CARB kicked off an ACF Truck Regulation Implementation Group meeting process comprised of various stakeholders to discuss how to implement the Regulation most effectively. There will be four separate categories for these meetings: the Rule Provisions group, the Infrastructure group, the Outreach group, and the Border group. The Workgroup will convene workshops beginning on December 4, 2023, and will focus on issues and stakeholders related to implementation of the ACF regulation in the Border Region.
- Working with various associations that represent manufacturing in Baja, CARB staff are working to provide information to their members since it is possible there could be companies that fall under the category of High Priority Fleet with Common Ownership and Control over medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
What opportunities does the transition to zero-emission present in the Baja California region?
- Discussions at the COMCAL working group held on September 14, 2022, included the interest of Baja California to increase the charging infrastructure in the State to promote tourism.
- The North American Development Bank (NADBank)—The NADBank contacted CARB staff to discuss ACF, and the opportunities for vehicle and infrastructure projects in the Baja California region. NADBank is a binational financial institution established by the Governments of the U.S. and Mexico to provide financing to support the development and implementation of infrastructure projects, as well as to provide technical and other assistance for projects and actions that preserve, protect or enhance the environment in order to advance the well-being of the people of the U.S. and Mexico. NADBank has funded several renewable energy projects, as well as a clean transit system in Mexico.
- The TruckNet truck stop, located one block from the border in Otay Mesa, California, is the first public charging station for MHDVs on the U.S. Border.
What are some frequently asked questions and comments from the Baja California region?
Otay Mesa is a “land port,” therefore, all of our trucks are drayage.
This is incorrect. Drayage trucks are defined in ACF as those that enter maritime ports and intermodal rail yards. This does not include those that only cross at land ports.
Many of the companies, especially manufacturers, in Baja California have gross annual revenues in excess of $50,000,000 and will be subject to the regulation.
Companies gross annual revenues in excess of $50,000,000 are only subject to ACF if they have trucks, or have common ownership and control over trucks.
MHDZEVs don’t have the range needed.
While this is an issue brought up by many fleets, this would appear to be less of problem with cross-border fleets than with some others. Battery electric vehicles are now available with a range of up to 500 miles, and many are available with ranges of 200+ miles. While some trucks that cross the border travel further into California, many only travel 30 miles into the State. Mexico-domiciled cross border shuttle trucks must have a DOT number, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assigned “MX” or Mexico docket number, and a valid FMCSA Certificate of Registration for operations within the commercial zone generally extending 30 miles into the U.S. from the border. Additionally, representatives of the Mexican trucking industry have stated that some of these vehicles travel to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. This trip is approximately 130 miles each way, and new public charging is being built. There are two projects alone that are scheduled to have approximately 350 chargers installed by the end of 2024, with some earlier.12
Additionally, while many in the region state that hydrogen fuel cell technology is not available, three manufacturers currently have these vehicles available.
Infrastructure is a problem.
The infrastructure issues at ports of entry at the Southern border are similar to those in all areas of California with the exception of the potential for availability on the Mexican side of the border.
Several companies are offering Trucks-as-a-service models for zero emission trucks. This model means they provide the truck and charging solution for the truck owner and the truck owner pays a fee to fuel and use the truck. This business model is a way for fleets to transition to ZEVs without purchasing the truck and infrastructure.
Major OEMs and infrastructure providers have also announced plans to install battery electric charging networks throughout the U.S. to support electrification efforts.
The Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Joint Statement of Intent outlines how state agencies are working together to ensure that charging/fueling station build out and electric grid planning aligns with the vehicle rollout schedules associated with CARB’s enacted regulatory programs.
Infrastructure delays are accounted for with an expanded infrastructure delay compliance extension of up to five years where delays are due to issues outside of the fleets control.
Is incentive funding available?
Vehicle funding is available for eligible fleets through incentive programs such as the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP), and available for infrastructure through incentives such as CEC’s EnergIIZE program.
- HVIP eligibility reads - The purchaser must commit to operate the vehicle in California for at least three years after the voucher redemption date. Vehicles registered in a California county that borders another state or Mexico may be eligible based on the miles per year traveled in California. Visit California HVIP: Implementation Manuals - Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project for details. Mileage is verified via telematics reporting by the manufacturer. The program also requires the ability to check compliance as a condition of eligibility.
- Visit the EnergIIZE program for information on State infrastructure incentives.
- The Investor Owned Utilities in California may have incentive funding. Visit SDGE: San Diego Gas & Electric, PG&E: Pacific Gas and Electric, or SCE: Southern California Edison for more details. If you are not within the territory of these entities, please check with your local utility district.
- Federal funding is becoming more readily available. Please see the appropriate program for more details.
- Chula Vista/Otay Mesa are disproportionately affected by air pollution and are now identified as AB 617 communities. They are eligible for increased funding in many programs, including funds allocated for the Community Emission Reduction Plan.
Many truckers are still waiting for their new natural gas trucks to arrive. Can you currently include a truck in the CARB maritime system which has been ordered but not delivered?
The answer depends on the component of the regulation. HPFs can add combustion-powered vehicles to their fleets if they purchased them before the effective date of the regulation which is expected in late July or August. The ZEV Milestones option doesn’t place any limits on adding combustion-powered vehicles as long as the fleet is meeting the ZEV percentage requirement, and the Model Year Schedule explicitly allows internal combustion engine purchases if ordered before the effective date of the regulation as stated in 2015(a)(1).
However, for drayage fleets, combustion trucks to must be added to the CARB Online System as part of the legacy fleet by December 31, 2023. Note that per the regulation, the drayage truck requirements includes trucks at seaports and intermodal railyards, not land ports of entry. Allowing combustion trucks to be added beyond that date circumvents the intent of the rulemaking of transitioning the drayage fleet toward ZEVs by 2035. In addition, the high concentration of drayage trucks operating at seaports and railyards results in higher levels of exposure of diesel toxics to nearby communities, so transitioning the drayage fleet to ZE operations as soon as possible accelerates the drayage ZEV fleet transition and related health benefits. Allowing additional combustion engines to be added after the end of 2023 and expanding the current combustion drayage fleet would only further delay much needed and overdue health benefits to these communities.
For additional questions and comments received during the ACF rulemaking process, please see the Final Statement of Reasons at Advanced Clean Fleets once it is available.
- 1electrive.com, July 12, 2023, New JV focuses on truck charging at largest US ports, https://www.electrive.com/2023/01/19/ca-forum-mobility-focuses-on-truck…
- 2CALSTART, September 19, 2022, Drayage Provider Commits to Fully ZE Fleet, Will Also Install Public Charging Stations at Port of Long Beach, [Press Release], https://calstart.org/drayage-provider-commits-to-fully-ze-fleet/