California’s Zero Emission Forklift Rule Updates

by Nancy Brockman

The Zero Emission Forklift Rule is currently in development, with CARB approval expected in 2023. This rule is phasing out the use of propane forklifts in California and requiring the use of Zero Emission engines (such as electric or hydrogen) instead. PineSpire is following the rulemaking closely and keeping our partners up-to-date on the latest changes. In July, CARB released the latest draft Rule. We’ve summarized major updates for you below.

PineSpire offers our Customers a fleet-specific review of the impacts of the proposed Zero Emission Forklift Rule.

Changes to Propane Lift Phase-Out Schedule

There are 3 major changes to how the phase-out of propane combustion forklifts is proposed:

  • Phase Out Requirements will begin Jan 1st, 2026 and are based on the forklift model year.
  • The Phase-out timeline is now different for Class IV (cushion tire) forklifts than Class V (pneumatic tire) forklifts. Class IV cushion tire forklifts are typically used indoors only, whereas Class V pneumatic lifts are capable of outdoor operations.
  • There is a maximum percent of fleet required to be turned over each year. This change helps spread out the cost to fleet owners over more years. This revised timeline and fleet cap is shown in the table below.
Phase Out of Propane Forklifts with Model Year and Fleet Caps.

Rentals, Reporting, Exemption Updates

CARB has changed direction on addressing rental forklifts in the Zero Emission Forklift rule, and is now proposing that all rental fleets must meet the phase-out requirements (with no percent of fleet cap). This puts the burden on rental fleet owners rather than the originally proposed fleet operator requirements. Expect this to have a significant effect on forklift rentals in California.

The updated draft Rule also has further clarifications on exemptions, such as for low-use forklifts (operated <200 hrs per year), rough-terrain forklifts, and forklifts greater than 12,000 lbs capacity.

The reporting and compliance with the rule will be done in the DOORS system. The draft Rule simplifies many of the fleet operators reporting requirements.

Give CARB Feedback

CARB is holding meetings with stakeholders that want to provide comment, or you can submit them via email. The next public meeting on the proposed rule is expected late this summer. If you want to make your voice heard, you can reach out to CARB directly at zeforklifts@arb.ca.gov. Or reach out to PineSpire about collaborating on the issues.

The Upside of Electric

When evaluating your fleets compliance and the return on investment by switching to electric fleets, there are a lot of upsides. Instead of buying propane, LCFS credits give you revenue every time you fuel your e-forklift. There are upsides in O&M and safety as well. Reach out if you’d like an evaluation of your potential LCFS revenue and fuel savings: contact@PineSpire.com

CARB Proposes Updates to the LCFS Regulation

by Nancy Brockman

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently held a workshop for stakeholders in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program. The presentation included the much-anticipated proposed updates to the Carbon Intensity standards in the program as well as a few new concepts. PineSpire has summarized two key proposed changes for you below.

1. Increasing the Demand for LCFS Credits by tightening the Carbon-Intensity Standard.

The Carbon Intensity Standard (i.e. how much Carbon is permitted in transportation fuels) is the key factor in the amount of deficits oil and gas companies have, and the amount of credits generated by low/no carbon fuel sources. Currently, the LCFS program is set at a 20% reduction target by 2030; based on the fact the LCFS program is already exceeding current reduction goals, CARB proposed to increase this target to 25% or 30% by 2030. The higher targets would help ensure that the supply side of LCFS credits does not outstrip the deficit-holder’s demand for credits and keep the marketplace in balance.

2. Potentially introduce Phase-Out of Vehicle Types, such as e-forklifts.

CARB also introduced the concept of ‘phase-out’ for discussion in the workshop. The stated intent is that low carbon-fueled vehicles that are widely adopted would phase out of eligibility in the LCFS program. While CARB’s intent is to focus LCFS values on more emergent vehicle types, this proposal is problematic and inconsistent with overall CARB goals. Most importantly, this proposal is at odds with the goals of CARB’s own proposed Zero-Emission Forklift regulation. Additionally it sends the wrong market signal to other low-carbon vehicle and fuel technology developers. The proposed phase-out in conjunction with the Zero Emission and Advanced Clean Fleet rules would essentially remove the carrot and only leave the stick.


Where do the proposed changes to the LCFS Program go from here?

We are in the middle of a multi-year process for California to update its overall Green House Gas reduction goals and the LCFS goals specifically. At this time, CARB is focusing on workshops, public comment, and feedback to refine its proposals before drafting changes to the regulation.

LCFS Rulemaking Timeline
CARB’s graphic showing the LCFS Rulemaking Timeline and the California Scoping Plan timeline

PineSpire is actively participating in all of CARB’s processes on behalf of our customers. If you would like to submit comments directly to CARB, you can do so here. You can also reach out to PineSpire to learn more and join voices in influencing the future of the LCFS program!

Electric Fleet Grant Opportunities

by Ryan Huggins

Now is a great time to look for Electric Vehicle, EV Charger, and Electric Forklift Incentives!

PineSpire recommends following these steps to identify the best opportunities for you:

  1. Equipment Type: Identify what equipment is on your ‘wishlist’ and find the right funding.
  2. Evaluate Eligibility: What Air Quality District or Utility Territory are you located in? Do you have old internal-combustion equipment to retire in exchange for new electric equipment? Is your current fleet in compliance with Air Quality Regulations?
  3. Timing: What is the Grant deadline? Does the lead time for new equipment work for your operations?

Here is a look at some great current opportunities to get funding towards your future electric fleet

HVIP: Hybrid and Zero Emissions Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program

Types of vehicles: Trucks, Buses, other specialized Heavy-Duty Vehicles

HVIP is open to entities across California and uses a ‘voucher’ system to simplify the paperwork and reporting. Funding is available until all vouchers are claimed, so don’t delay in looking at eligible vehicles and applying!

Goods Movement Program

Types of Vehicles: Diesel Trucks, Cargo handling equipment, transport refrigeration unit and forkflits

The Goods Movement Program is open to entities involved in Goods Movement (such as logistics companies) and aims to retire internal combustion equipment by funding a portion of the purchase price of new zero emission (i.e. electric) equipment. Each Air Quality District manages the Goods Movement Program in their region; check your Air District for application dates.

Clean Off-Road Equipment (CORE)

Types of Vehicles: Terminal Tractors, Forklifts, and other freight-handling equipment that replaces diesel models

The CORE program is set to open July 18, 2022 with a total of $125M. This program is available state-wide and uses a Voucher model. Prepare for the opportunity by evaluating eligible equipment and contacting an approved dealer to be ready for program opening.

PineSpire is here to help our customers make the most of these opportunities and meet their fleet financial goals through lowering fuel costs and O&M over the long-run.

CARB announces Concessions in Draft Zero-Emissions Forklift Rule

by pinespire
Thinking of switching over from propane to electric? Now’s the perfect time!

CARB recently hosted a webinar to provide updates on the draft Zero-Emissions Forklift rule.  These updates included a few significant changes to the proposed regulation based on the feedback received from the industry: 

  1. Diesel forklifts will not be subject to this rule and will remain regulated under the Off-Road Diesel Rule 
  1. Zero Emission Forklift rule implementation will be delayed until 2026 

While these changes are good news for many businesses, particularly with diesel fleets, there are still major implications of the rule to be aware of for businesses operating propane forklift fleets

  1. The proposed rule will require retiring all internal combustion (i.e. gas or propane) equipment based on model year, not based on the percentage of your fleet.  This could mean major fleet turnover in a single year, depending on your fleet’s age. 
  1. Companies using internal combustion rental equipment to manage peak seasons operations will only receive an annual 30 day allowance for renting propane equipment.  Beyond 30 days, all equipment must be electric, including rentals. 

While PineSpire supports businesses moving their fleets to electric as a long-term financial and environmentally sustainable solution, we also want to ensure that transition is practical from a business perspective.  CARB is specifically requesting to hear from forklift fleet owners on the financial feasibility and equipment availability of the Draft Zero-Emission Forklift Rule.  Do you have a perspective you want to share? Contact us and we will ensure your comments are heard.   

For more information on the Zero-Emission Forklift rulemaking, see part 1 of this series.