NPGA Bobtail

California Moves to Ban Propane Forklifts

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed a new regulation that will prohibit the production and sale of large, spark-ignited (LSI) forklifts for the California market beginning in 2026. In addition, this rule requires fleet managers (starting in 2026 or 2028 depending on fleet size) to retire their LSI forklifts currently in operation on a set schedule, based on the model year of production.

Both the ban on new sales and the fleet phase-out requirements will affect forklifts powered by propane, and the companies who rely on them. Propane-powered forklifts are utilized by businesses large and small to meet their unique material handling needs in a reliable, clean, and cost-effective manner.

Colin Sueyres, Executive Director of the Western Propane Gas Association (WPGA), has been directly engaged and working to combat this regulation since it was first proposed. “This vote will not be the end of the fight for our industry,” said Sueyres. “We are evaluating litigation strategies with legal experts on the best course of action in the court to respond to CARB, and are going to engage with elected officials at the state and federal level on how they can respond. We are not going anywhere and will protect businesses and customers from the cost impact of this forced transition.”

As of the 2022 PERC sales report, California was the largest propane market in the country, with 539 million gallons of fuel sold. For more information, contact NPGA’s Director of State Affairs, Jacob Peterson