by Ryan Huggins Ryan Huggins

You know about California’s policies to phase out gasoline powered cars and trucks, but did you know forklifts are also included in this plan?  As part of Executive Order N-79-20 to transition California to zero emission vehicles, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is tasked with creating rules to transition all California forklifts to Zero Emission Forklifts

While we know regulations are no one’s favorite topic, we want to be sure our partners aren’t caught off-guard when the new rules come into place.  And more importantly that our partners are getting the LCFS revenue that comes with converting more of your fleet to Zero-Emission (i.e. Electric) Forklifts.

To help you stay current, PineSpire has boiled down the most recent updates from CARB’s August 17th webinar on the draft Zero-Emission Forklift rule.

What counts as Zero-Emission: 

This regulation is targeting zero tailpipe emissions, which in practical terms requires using an electric forklift powered by a battery or a fuel-cell.

The Regulation is phasing out Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts that run off of diesel, gasoline or propane

Applies to Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts with some exceptions:

  • Only applies to lifts up to 12,000lb capacity
  • Exempt: rough terrain (still being defined), telescoping booms, ports/intermodal rail yards (which are subject to different regulations)
  • Potentially Exempt (still being discussed): short term rental, low-use, remote location use


Beginning in January of each year, zero-emission forklift requirements will go into place as follows:

  • New purchases required to be Zero-Emission: 2025
  • Required Retirement of model year 2012 and older IC lifts: 2025
  • Required incremental retirement of model year 2013 and newer IC lifts: 2026 retire model year 2013, 2027 retire model year 2014, etc., such that all IC’s would be phased out by 2039
  • May have a delayed timeframe of implementation for small businesses (‘small business’ still being defined)


CARB will manage implementation and enforcement as follows:

  • Reporting through DOORS (still defining if it will supersede or integrate with LSI and ORD reporting)
  • Engine labeling
  • Annual report/attestation
  • Both operators and rental agencies (i.e. dealerships) will have to report the rental fleets
  • Inspections to verify engine labels, model years, compliance

When will this be Finalized? 

CARB is slated to implement the rule in 2022 however there is not a firm date on the final regulation. 

  • Next CARB workshop: October 7, 2020 (yes, PineSpire will give you an update on this webinar too)

Want to know more? 

Check out these links to CARB, or reach out to PineSpire with your questions. 

  • CARB’s presentation from the August workshop here
  • Document discussing specific regulation concepts here