LOS ANGELES — Think of electric vehicles, and most of us think cars. But something bigger is coming down the pike: 18-wheelers are also going emissions free.

Five things you need to know about electric 18-wheelers

  1. Daimler Trucks is one of several companies testing battery-electric big rigs near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. About 40 of its Freightliner e-Cascadias are operating in Southern California.
  2. California was the first state to mandate that truck makers begin transitioning away from diesel for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, starting with the 2024 model year. Fourteen other states have since adopted the same regulation.
  3. Part of the executive order, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued in September 2020 mandates that all medium- and heavy-duty vehicle operations be emissions-free by 2045.
  4. In addition to major manufacturers including Daimler Trucks, Volvo Trucks and Kenworth, Tesla, XOS and other startups also plan to build battery-electric trucks. Production for many of the trucks is expected to start this year.
  5. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for 12% of greenhouse gas emissions in California.