The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a comprehensive effort to clean up airport shuttles in order to promote the development and use of zero-emission airport ground transportation.

As per the regulation, which will be phased in over a 13-year period, all shuttle fleets serving the state’s airports should switch to 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2035. This applies to public and private fleets, including parking facilities, rental car agencies, and hotels.

The board estimates that the regulation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 500,000mt.

CARB said zero-emission shuttles are already operating across the state and have been purchased by six airports, as well as by private businesses serving nine airports.

There are currently 48 ZEVs in operation in the state and a further 100 have been ordered.

According to the CARB, current and on-order ZEV shuttles represent more than 15% of all airport shuttles in California. The agency said the increased adoption of these technologies is required to meet air quality and climate goals.

As per the new regulation, shuttle fleets will be required to report the details of their vehicles from 2022.

Fleets replacing a ZEV shuttle should be zero-emissions from 2023.

Shuttle operators will be required to report to CARB from 2022 to 2035, when all fleets should be fully compliant.

CARB executive officer Richard Corey said: “California continues its forward march toward a zero-emission future with airport shuttles presenting a great opportunity for showcasing this process.

“Shuttles are a vital part of airport activity. The transition to zero-emission shuttles not only provides consumers with clean, quiet transport but will help further expand the reach of this ultra-clean technology into the heavy-duty transportation sector.”

A proposal is also being developed by the CARB to achieve further emission reductions by requiring zero-emission airport ground equipment.