Energy Exchange

Transforming transportation in New Jersey

There is no summer slowdown for New Jersey. State lawmakers are working hard to meet the state’s clean energy goals. Shortly before releasing the state’s Draft Energy Master Plan, Gov. Phil Murphy introduced the New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Board of Public Utilities, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Economic Development Authority to build the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicle ownership statewide, cut pollution and clean up the air.

As one of five states in the U.S. requiring 50% of its power be sourced from renewables by 2030 and to reach 100% clean energy by 2050, New Jersey is moving on a path toward decarbonization, reducing its reliance on fossil fuels, to meet its aggressive climate goals, and to contribute to the nationwide – if not global – task of avoiding the worst consequences of climate change. But decarbonizing the power sector isn’t enough.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, New Jersey / Comments are closed

Electric fleets are the future of transportation, this California regulator explains how we get there

 

This post is the second in our Innovation Series

If you’ve ever wondered why some California cities consistently rank among the nation’s most polluted, the answer is simple: cars and trucks.

California’s transportation sector is responsible for about 80% of the state’s smog and 50% of its climate pollution, and much of that pollution comes from the vehicles traveling up and down our highways.

Fortunately, the state is at a turning point: over half a million drivers have made the switch to zero-emission vehicles. And more commercial fleet owners also see benefits to investing in zero-emission vehicles.

I recently sat down with Steve Cliff, the Deputy Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board to learn more about what the state is doing to accelerate the transition to cleaner cars and trucks.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Innovation series / Comments are closed

Trucking companies, utilities and innovators work together to put more electric vehicles on the road

This post is the first in our Innovation Series

One of the largest sources of climate pollution is the transportation sector, which is responsible for about a quarter of our nation’s greenhouse gas pollution. It is clear that to reach our climate goals, we must reduce car and truck emissions.

One way to reduce harmful air and climate pollution is by electrifying the transportation sector, especially long-haul trucks, buses, delivery vehicles, garbage trucks and regional “day cab” tractors used at ports. Heavy-duty vehicles are not only responsible for significant climate pollution, they are also responsible for about 30% of Nitrogen oxide pollution. These emissions can increase cancer risk, neurological and metabolic diseases, and cause respiratory and cardiovascular damage.

Toxic air pollutants like these are often hyper-localized, disproportionately impacting low-income communities and communities of color who are more likely to live near major highways, ports, and distribution centers. A recent EDF study of Oakland’s air pollution, for example, observed residents living near one particular freeway (home to much of the city’s diesel fueled traffic) were exposed to concentrations of black carbon 80% higher than a similar road.

Electrifying these medium and heavy-duty vehicles therefore reduces both pollution that harms human health and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of the fuel. But making this win-win transition will require significant technological and political support to succeed. Fortunately, a growing number of innovators are adopting and/or developing tools to expand the number of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles on the road — ultimately reducing harmful pollution and preserving a clean, reliable and equitable electric grid.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Innovation series / Comments are closed

Equity, innovation can be part of Illinois’ efforts to electrify transportation

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau 

This post is the third in our CEJA series

As Illinoisans consider ways to drive down pollution and the costs of energy, one place to look is what they drive.

The transportation sector has now overtaken the power sector as the leading source of carbon pollution in Illinois, responsible for nearly one-third of all carbon emissions. Any state-level climate action must address transportation emissions.

That is why electrification of the transportation sector is one of the four key pillars of the newly-introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). By incentivizing electric vehicles (EVs), mass transit and other transportation alternatives, we can remove the equivalent of a million gas and diesel-powered vehicles from the road. Doing so will have immediate air quality benefits, especially in low-income communities and communities of color that bear the biggest burden of this pollution.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Illinois / 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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Also posted in Air Quality, Grid Modernization / Comments are closed

California aims to hit ambitious climate goals through electrification

It’s been a good couple of weeks for clean energy in sunny California, which continues to move buildings and transportation away from dirty fossil fuels. This increased focus is well-placed: emissions from the transportation sector remain unacceptably high, accounting for nearly 40 percent of harmful pollution in the state; buildings are also a significant contributor, responsible for as much as 25 percent of the state’s emissions. Without committing to the electrification of these sectors – quickly – ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets in the state will be that much more difficult to achieve. Thankfully, a number of recent developments at the state level prove that California has what it takes to transform these sectors for good.

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Also posted in California / Comments are closed