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Study finds California’s semi truck electrification comes with enormous costs that hit consumers

By Kevin Killough

In 2022, California adopted regulations that required all new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be zero emissions by 2035. Immediately, 17 states eyed the electric vehicle mandates and started considering their own. That was on top of the Biden administration’s own tailpipe standards, which many say function as a federal EV mandate.

The vision of a forced electric vehicle transition hasn’t quite gone as California and the Biden administration have hoped. But in April 2023, California was still riding high on a wave of EV fever and set its ambitions on electrifying semi truck fleets.

The issues that have reduced consumer interest in EVs are compounded with heavy-duty semi trucks. A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) finds that if California transitioned to an electrified trucking fleet, it would strain the state’s already stressed grid, take decades to source the minerals needed, and ultimately drive up the costs of goods for all Americans.