Upcoming changes to California's environmental policies may end up being the unintentional apology Elon Musk has been waiting for after he and the state had a falling-out due to its aggressive pandemic protection measures over the past months. The proposed changes will include new environmental standards for cargo trucks and its manufacturing process, which will be good news for Musk's Tesla and its recently unveiled fully-electric Semi truck.
The California Air Resources Board is reportedly set to approve a new electric standard for all cargo trucks and manufacturers, which is expected to be made public at the end this month. Under the proposal, the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Rule will be expanded and manufacturers will be required to have zero-emission trucks make up a majority of their total sales by 2035.
This will affect all manufacturers of large pickup trucks, delivery trucks, and semis. By 2024, all truck manufacturers will need to have at least one zero-emission model in their portfolios. State officials noted that there will be no reason for traditional manufacturers to not have zero-emission models by that time. Officials added that the government and private companies in the state are already shifting to using zero-emission vehicles, including buses, delivery vans, and pickup trucks, which means that manufacturers will have to adapt to meet demand.
Tesla will of course have no problems meeting those demands given that it solely produces zero-emission vehicles. Demand for the company's recently unveiled fully-electric Semi truck is expected to surge following the passing of the new measures, at least in California. However, other states are expected to follow suit in the coming years as the entire country pushes for the adoption of newer technologies.
Being one of the first companies to unveil a fully-electric semi-trailer truck does have its advantages. Although the company is expected to face stiff competition, particularly from newcomers such as Nikola, which had recently unveiled its all-electric semi cargo truck and pickup truck models.
Tesla was initially expected to deliver its Semi-trucks, which will have a range of 300 to 500 miles, to customers by the end of 2020. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic had heavily affected its deliver timelines. Musk did mention on social media that Tesla is now accelerating its efforts to bring the Semi to market and that his team is now going "all-out" to bring mass-producing the electric semi.
Environmental advocacy groups applauded California's move, with groups stating that the increased use of zero-emission trucks will come a long way in addressing air quality and climate change concerns in the state and the rest of the world.