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CEPA | AIR RESOURCES BOARD: Facts About Heavy-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Regulat

Via the California Environmental Protection Agency | AIR RESOURCES BOARD

Facts About Heavy-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Regulation

Reducing Climate Change Emissions from Tractor-Trailers

What is the purpose of the regulation?

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) developed this regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by heavy-duty tractors that pull 53-foot or longer box-type trailers by making them more fuel efficient. Fuel efficiency will be improved by requiring the use of aerodynamic tractors and trailers that are also equipped with low rolling resistance tires. Along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this regulation will, over time, save money, as well

as reduce our dependence on foreign oil. In fact, over the course of the 11 years between 2010 and 2020, this regulation is estimated to save about $8.6 billion, as well as 750 million gallons of diesel fuel in California, and 5 billion gallons of diesel fuel across the nation.

The tractors and trailers subject to this regulation must either use United States Environmental Protection Agency Smartway (SmartWay) certified tractors and trailers, or retrofit their existing fleet with Smartway verified technologies. The SmartWay certification process is part of their broader voluntary program called the SmartWay Transport Partnership Program (SmartWay program). For information about the SmartWay program, go to:

Who is affected by the regulation?

The regulation applies primarily to owners of 53-foot or longer box-type trailers, including both dry-van and refrigerated-van trailers, and the owners of heavy-duty tractors that pull them on California highways. These owners are responsible for replacing or retrofitting their affected vehicles with compliant aerodynamic technologies and low rolling resistance tires. All owners regardless of where their vehicles are registered must comply with the regulation when they operate their affected vehicles on California highways. Besides the owners of these vehicles, drivers, motor carriers, California-based brokers and California-based shippers that operate or use them also share in the responsibility for compliance with the regulation. One or all of these parties may be held accountable for operating or using non-compliant vehicles on California highways.

What are the requirements of the regulation and when must I comply?

For tractors subject to the regulation:

  • 2011 and newer model year (MY) sleeper-cab tractors that pull affected trailers must be SmartWay certified, beginning January 1, 2010
  • 2011 and newer MY day-cab tractors that pull affected trailers must use SmartWay verified low rolling resistance tires, beginning January 1, 2010
  • All pre-2011 MY tractors that pull affected trailers must use SmartWay verified low rolling resistance tires, beginning January 1, 2012

For trailers subject to the regulation:

  • 2011 and newer MY 53-foot or longer box-type trailers must be either

    • SmartWay certified or
    • Retrofitted with SmartWay verified technologies, as follows:

      • Low rolling resistance tires, and
      • Aerodynamic devices, beginning January 1, 2010

  • Pre-2011 MY 53-foot or longer box-type trailers (with the exception of certain 2003 to 2008 MY refrigerated-van trailers) must either

    • Meet the same requirements as 2011 and newer MY trailers by December 31, 2012, or
    • Choose a compliance schedule based on fleet size and prepare and submit the appropriate compliance plan which allows them to phase-in their compliance over time.

  • 2003 to 2008 MY refrigerated-van trailers equipped with 2003 or subsequent MY transport refrigeration units have a compliance phase-in between 2017 and 2019.

The regulation does NOT apply to the following:

  • Custom extended sleeper cab tractors Curtain side vans
  • Military tactical vehicles Solid waste vehicles
  • Authorized emergency vehicles Container chassis
  • Drayage tractors and trailers that operate within a 100 mile radius of a port or intermodal rail yard
  • Drop frame vans

Are there any special provisions?

Short-haul tractors that drive less than 50,000 miles per year are exempt. Short-haul tractors and trailers that operate within a 100 mile radius from a home base may be exempt from the aerodynamics requirements, but not from the tire requirements. However short-haul tractors and trailers will need to be registered with ARB in order to obtain this exemption.

What kinds of equipment will meet the requirements of this regulation?

To comply with the regulation, you may purchase a SmartWay certified tractor and/or trailer, which will come equipped with the approved technologies. You may also comply by retrofitting your trailer with approved low rolling resistance tires and one or more of the following aerodynamic technologies:

  • Trailer rear fairings
  • Trailer front gap fairings
  • Trailer side skirts
  • Other SmartWay approved technologies

The type or number of technologies required will be based on the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions reduction of each device. These required percentages can be found in the regulation at:

For further information about the specific technologies that have been verified by the SmartWay program, please contact SmartWay Partnership Program at:

SmartWay Call Center: (734) 214-4767
2000 Traverwood
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Is there financial assistance available to help purchase this equipment?

Yes, please see the related webpage on ARB’s Heavy-Duty Vehicle Air Quality Loan Program.

Also, the SmartWay program offers financial assistance information through the SmartWay Finance Center, which can be accessed from their website.

For More Information

Please contact ARB’s diesel hotline at (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735) or visit our website at

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