4 The record articles

CARB Zero-Emission Forklift Implementation

Posted: April 18th, 2022

Authors: All4 Staff 


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing a measure that will require the use of zero-emission forklifts within fleets throughout California.  The Zero-Emission Forklift Measure was supported in Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20 signed on September 2020.  The purpose is to accelerate deployment of zero-emission technology in forklifts throughout the state to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), fine particulate matter (PM), other criteria pollutants, toxic air contaminants, and greenhouse gases (GHG).  Mobile sources, including off-road equipment, are the largest contributors to the formation of ozone, PM, diesel particulate matter, and GHG emissions in California. The Zero-Emission Forklift Measure is intended to reduce emissions from off-road vehicles as part of CARB’s State Implementation Plan, Mobile Source Strategy, and Sustainable Freight Action Plan.

Proposed Applicability

The proposed measure will apply to any person, business, public utility, special district, or government agency that operates, allows the operation of, owns, leases, rents, offers for sale, offers for lease, or offers for rent an Affected Forklift in California.

An Affected Forklift means an internal-combustion forklift with a lift capacity of 12,000 pounds or less that is not a: rough terrain forklift; military tactical vehicle; pallet jack; forklift with a permanently integrated telescoping boom as its primary work implement; forklift with a diesel-fueled or alternative-diesel-fueled off-road compression-ignition engine subject to the In-Use Off-Road Diesel Fueled Fleets Regulation; or forklift owned or operated by a facility subject to the Mobile Cargo Handling Equipment at Ports and Intermodal Rail Yards Regulation.

Proposed Fleet Operator Requirements

Starting January 1, 2026, a fleet operator may not acquire, possess, operate, or allow the operation of an Affected Forklift in California unless:

  1. The forklift is a 2025 or previous model-year forklift with a 2025 or previous model year engine that has been reported by the fleet operator in accordance with the Reported Fleet Phase-Out Provisions of the proposed measure;
  2. The forklift is a 2025 or previous model-year forklift with a 2025 or previous model year engine that qualifies for the low-use exemption of the proposed measure; or
  3. The forklift is a 2025 or previous model-year forklift with a 2025 or previous model year engine that is a rental forklift rented by the fleet operator in accordance with the Limited Rental Allowance provisions of the proposed measure.

The proposed measure would amend section 2433, title 13, of the California Code of Regulations to state that off-road large spark-ignition engines manufactured for sale, sold, or offered for sale in California in 2026 and thereafter must not exceed emissions of 0.0 grams per break horsepower-hour or 0.0 grams per kilowatt hour of NOx, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.

Next Steps

CARB is currently requesting feedback on the proposed measure through email and individual meetings.  Contact David Eiges (Air Resources Engineer Staff Lead, david.eiges@arb.ca.gov) and David Chen (Advanced Emission Control Strategies Section Manager, david.chen@arb.ca.gov) if you would like to provide input.

The next CARB workshop on the proposed measure will be scheduled for the summer of 2022.  The Zero-Emission Forklift Implementation is scheduled for Board consideration in 2023.

ALL4 is available to guide your facility through the development and implementation of the Zero-Emission Forklift Measure.  ALL4 is offering a guidance package for the measure that includes: an evaluation of your existing fleet, a preliminary phase-out plan for affected forklifts, a Low-Use Exemption evaluation, a Limited Rental Provision Evaluation, coordination of individual meetings with CARB, and representation during upcoming workshops and group meetings. For information on a compliance plan tailored to your facility please contact our team at info@all4inc.com.

Additional Information

For additional information on the status of implementation and review schedule please visit the California Air Resources Board Zero-Emission Forklift website at:



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