Vehicles ranging from delivery vans to tractor-trailers are the latest target in the Murphy Administration's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in the Garden State.

One of the first states to make the move, New Jersey has announced the adoption of rules that will require the phasing in of electric commercial trucks, to replace diesel-guzzling trucks on the road today.

The Advanced Clean Truck rule, modeled after regulations established in California, aims to get zero-emission trucks on the road beginning in 2025, with an increasing number every year through 2035.

"New Jersey is already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change, but we have the power and obligation to reduce its worsening in the years ahead by acting now to limit our emissions of climate pollutants," said Shawn LaTourette, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Through the ACT rule, manufacturers of vehicles that weigh more than 8,500 pounds will have to participate in a credit/deficit program — they generate credits by selling zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks in New Jersey, while deficits are attributable to the manufacturer's total sales in the state.

Environmentalists say the rule should result in 40% to 75% new zero-emission truck sales by 2035.

"To make this work, we really need to now invest heavily in charging infrastructure for all of these trucks, buses and other diesel vehicles that are going to be electrified," said Hayley Berliner, clean energy advocate with Environment New Jersey.

Berliner noted that New Jersey is the fourth state in the country, and the first on the East Coast, to adopt the ACT rule.

According to the Murphy Administration, New Jersey's transportation sector is responsible for more than 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses make up nearly a quarter of transportation-sector greenhouse emissions, while only accounting for 4% of all vehicles on the road.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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