September 24, 2023 - 9:00 pm
It’s shocking, but California’s efforts to force-feed electric vehicles to its residents and businesses has already hit a few snags. Perhaps the state’s regulatory-happy politicians need to put the brakes on virtue signaling and return to reality.
Starting Jan. 1, all new trucks purchased that serve California ports must be zero-emission vehicles. Under current law, it will be illegal by 2035 to operate gasoline-powered trucks in the state. Whether this is at all practical for the transport of consumer goods is of little concern to leftists merrily running the Golden State into the ground.
Shipping companies note that electric trucks cost three times more than their diesel counterparts and that finding charging stations remains a challenge. Many of the newfangled trucks can go only a few hundred miles on a charge, the Wall Street Journal reports, “so they can run only short trips between ports and nearby rail yards and warehouses.” In addition, production of trucks that satisfy the mandate is limited while repair costs are exorbitant and reliability is a concern.
All of this will make California ports less competitive and less efficient while threatening vital supply chains and driving up costs for shipping companies and consumers. It will also do nothing to address global warming.
What it has done, however, is create a run on gasoline-powered diesel trucks.
“I have to think every trucker in California,” Kenny Vieth, president of ACT research, told the Journal, “is doing all they can to get as many pre-mandate trucks in place as they possibly can.”
In other words, trucking firms now have a clear incentive to buy more diesel trucks before the January deadline. Indeed, one shipping firm owner told the Journal that he had recently bought 20 new diesel trucks for his fleet. “We are trying to take the hit now at a lot more reasonable cost per month versus buying electric vehicles next year,” he said.
“It’s not that the industry has said we can’t do it,” Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, told Yahoo Finance. “It’s not that the industry has said that they’re opposed to it, but these timelines do not work. There’s nowhere to charge these vehicles and it’s going to take so long to get the charging infrastructure online that you can’t say with a straight face that the state is remotely near ready for deployment of an all-electric drayage fleet. It’s not gonna happen.”
But in the dream world inhabited by California progressives, it’s the thought that counts. The practical realities of their slipshod handiwork are rarely considered, leaving those without the luxury of living in Never Never Land to deal with the adverse consequences.