Energy Exchange

Congress should act now to accelerate the transition to zero-emission trucks

Every mode of freight transportation – from planes and trains, to trucks and ships — has a significant pollution footprint that dirties the air in communities near freight facilities and highways, while contributing to the climate crisis.

Yet, reducing pollution from the freight movement is not primarily a technology matter. It is a matter of political will.

Today, I hope to convey this message before two House Transportation & Infrastructure subcommittees at an important hearing on the economic, environmental and societal impacts of freight transportation. I also hope that my testimony — and that of others at the hearing — will help the House develop a 2020 transportation bill that builds on the Senate’s version of the Highway Reauthorization Bill approved earlier this year.

With Congressional leadership, we can make tremendous strides in reducing the nearly 11,000 premature deaths annually occurring from exposure to freight pollution in this country and put the sector on a path to contribute to a 100% clean economy by 2050.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

4 new developments that prove electric trucks and buses are gaining momentum

The electric vehicle movement is having a moment. And I’m not talking about the usual passenger EVs that everyone already knows about — the Teslas, the Volts, the Bolts or the Leafs.

I’m talking about the next wave of EV markets that, when they take off, will fundamentally change how people and freight are moved. Here are four new developments that prove electric trucks and buses are gaining momentum.

1. Washington commits dollars, legislation to electric buses

First, a pair of announcements from Washington could spur new research and deployment of various low or zero-emission transit vehicles. The Federal Transportation Administration awarded 38 grants totaling $85 million to transit agencies across the country to purchase or lease “low or no emission” buses. Since its inception, the FTA’s Low-No program has funded more than $300 million in new buses, training or infrastructure. And a group of U.S. senators introduced the Clean School Bus Act last month, through which the U.S. Department of Energy would spend a billion dollars to help convert diesel school buses to clean electric models. A companion bill was just introduced into the House.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

As electric trucks and buses charge ahead, how can we help them avoid roadblocks?

The business and environmental case for electrifying large electric vehicles – such as buses, delivery trucks, garbage trucks and regional “day cab” tractors used at ports – is gaining traction, and there’s good reason to be excited about this momentum.

FedEx recently announced that it’s adding 1,000 EV delivery vans to its fleet. Amazon announced a $700 million investment in an electric truck start-up and then pledged to have half of its deliveries be zero-emissions by 2030. And in California, all new municipal buses will be zero-emissions within a decade, the result of a bold new program adopted by the state’s Air Resources Board last year.

As companies and local governments move from piloting electric fleets to full deployment, their climate potential is becoming clearer. For example, a recent Bloomberg report found that by the end of 2019, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses globally. That’s more than three times the displacement by all the world’s passenger electric vehicles.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, Grid Modernization / Comments are closed