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Maryland Adopts California's ZEV Sales Mandate for Trucks, But With Some Caveats

April 21, 2023

With the passage of Senate Bill 224, Maryland will join at least seven other states in adopting California’s Advance Clean Trucks Rule (ACT). This rule will require an increasing percentage of medium and heavy-duty truck sales in Maryland to be zero emission vehicles (e.g., electric or hydrogen fuel) beginning with the 2027 model year. Manufacturers who do not meet the percentages may be fined. Despite the passage of this new law, with heavy lobbying from the trucking industry, Maryland became the first state to impose restrictions on the ACT by requiring a needs assessment from five different agencies prior to implementation. The assessment must look at:

  1. The additional electrical capacity, transmission distribution demands, and hydrogen fueling demands that will result from implementation of the regulations, and the ability of the state’s electric utilities, grid, and hydrogen infrastructure to meet those demands.
  2. The number of zero–emission medium– and heavy–duty vehicle recharging and refueling stations recommended for implementation of the regulations, and the costs, permitting processes, and timelines for installing those stations.
  3. The purchase incentives and other mechanisms recommended for successful implementation of the regulations, including incentives for recharging and refueling stations and related infrastructure, and the existing and potential sources of funding for those incentives and mechanisms.
  4. The timeline, economic feasibility, and models available for transitioning medium– and heavy–duty vehicles in the state vehicle fleet to zero–emission trucks.

It then authorizes the Department of the Environment to delay implementation of the regulations if the needs assessment determines that it is not yet feasible. With these amendments Maryland elected officials made the wise decision not to simply adopt an artificial and unachievable mandate without proper planning.

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