Energy Exchange

New York should accelerate the adoption of zero-emission trucks

On the heels of COP26, Governor Hochul has made it clear that New Yorkers must work together to tackle climate change in the state. And New York is taking steps to prioritize climate and clean air. Back in September, the Department of Environmental Conservation introduced the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which requires manufacturers to produce and sell a percentage of new electric trucks annually through 2035.  Since the process began, there has been a 60-day public comment period, during which Environmental Defense Fund provided testimony at a public hearing and submitted joint comments with key stakeholders.

The ACT is a critical first step toward eliminating tailpipe emissions from new trucks and making the air cleaner and more breathable in neighborhoods across the state. But it is not — nor should it be — the sole means to mobilize the market for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and reduce pollution.  A variety of complementary policies must be put in place to allow for a cost-effective, equitable and sustainable transition to clean vehicles.

New York needs zero-emission trucks

Transportation is a leading source of air pollution in New York, accounting for 36% of all greenhouse gas emissions across the state. And while trucks only make up 5% of the state’s 10.6 million registered vehicles, the emissions produced from this sector are disproportionate to the population. Read More »

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Chip shortage highlights the need for coordinated federal, state policy on zero-emission vehicles

By Casey Horan

Recently, a friend sought my help in finding a zero-emission upgrade for his old gas-guzzler. Incentivized by increased cost-competitiveness and a desire to be more environmentally conscious, he was eager to see the new zero-emission vehicle models. To our dismay, dealer after dealer informed us that, not only was the supply for all new ZEVs backed up for months, but prices had increased significantly. Why? Every dealer cited supply chain issues.

A global shortage of chips — tiny semiconductors that make all our electronics work — has forced automakers to delay or halt production for all new vehicles, including ZEVs. While this specific disruption will not impact the long-term market adoption of ZEVs, it does underscore the need to boost domestic manufacturing. The U.S. must not allow an overreliance on foreign suppliers for ZEV components to impede our ability to meet transportation electrification targets, including for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs, which are a critical part of plans to reduce emissions and address public health and equity concerns across the nation.

To prevent further market instability and delay, Congress should pass the Build Back Better Act and states must implement coordinated policies to encourage investment in domestic supply of essential ZEV parts.

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New electricity rate will make truck and bus charging cheaper, cleaner in California

State regulators just approved a first-of-its-kind charging rate for electric trucks and buses in northern California that will make it more affordable for fleet operators to make the switch from diesel to electric.

This new “dynamic” rate changes on an hourly basis, offering more opportunities for fleet operators to charge their vehicles when electricity is cheap (for example, when the grid is underutilized or when clean electricity is plentiful). In 2019, state regulators authorized Pacific Gas and Electric Company to offer a commercial electric vehicle time of use rate; regulators also directed the utility to request a more dynamic rate option, which is what was just approved. PG&E offering a menu of options tracks with EDF’s recent recommendation that multiple options — to accommodate many different operational use cases — are needed to make commercial vehicle electrification as affordable and clean as possible.

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After banner EV commitments at COP26, it’s time for U.S. to lead

By Jason Mathers and Peter Zalzal

The global convening of international climate leaders at COP 26 delivered transformative commitments from countries and companies around the pace of transition to zero-emission vehicles. Leading automakers such as Ford, GM and Mercedes-Benz, as well as more than two dozen countries agreed that by 2035, all new cars sold should be zero-emission. Fifteen countries also agreed that the same should be achieved for trucks and buses by 2040.

It’s great to see global commitments to these targets (which EDF has previously called for), because transportation is the primary source of climate pollution and a leading cause of premature deaths around the world. However, missing from both of these historic agreements was the United States.

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Canada’s path to reducing methane must be built on all available data

Last week, at the United Nations annual climate conference, Canada joined over 100 other countries pledging to reduce 30% of global methane emissions by the year 2030. Methane is a fast-acting greenhouse gas responsible for over a quarter of human-caused global warming. Reducing methane emissions, along with carbon dioxide, is absolutely critical to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Canada is among the world’s largest methane emitters, and oil and gas is a significant contributor. So consequently, living up to this global commitment of 30% reduction by 2030 will have to include meaningful cuts to oil and gas sector methane emissions.

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New analysis shows California is home to the most zero-emission truck, bus companies in the nation

From vehicle assembly to battery manufacturing, research and training, the zero-emission truck and bus supply chain is supporting thousands of jobs and billions of investments — in California and across the country — according to a new report by EDF released today. That’s good news, because the transition away from fossil fuels in the medium- and heavy-duty, zero-emission vehicle sector will require significant new investments in technology, infrastructure and logistics.

In California, much like the national picture, the MHD ZEV industry is far-reaching. Existing businesses in the transportation industry are adapting their offerings to provide MHD ZEV products, and there are a significant number of new market entrants.

California leads the nation with at least 128 companies in 181 locations involved in the MHD ZEV supply chain; 86 of these companies are headquartered in the state, with over 44,000 total employees. In addition, there has been over $3.8 billion of announced corporate investments in manufacturing, infrastructure, research and training over the last seven years.

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