Energy Exchange

New electric buses are a holiday gift for New York City

Early Sunday morning last week I stood on a windy rooftop in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan next to a strikingly modern, blue electric bus. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It is a 60-foot-long articulated bus that bends in the middle and is fully outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and accessories — from USB chargers to heat.

As a climate-solutions advocate, I haven’t been feeling great about the holidays. The news out of Washington, DC isn’t exactly uplifting. The United Nations’ climate talks in Madrid were not easy either and it took too much effort for world leaders to come through with an agreement. Not exactly my idea of holiday cheer.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Congestion pricing, New York / Comments are closed

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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Also posted in Air Quality / Comments are closed

How companies are using electric trucks to reduce air pollution and save money

Earlier this year, Amazon announced it would purchase 100,000 electric trucks like this one as part of its efforts to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

What do Amazon, Goodwill and PepsiCo have in common? They’re all investing in heavy-duty electric trucks. It’s a move that’s making great strides to reduce air pollution and save money.

Fortunately for these companies, making the switch to electric fleets is about to get a whole lot easier. The California Air Resources Board has just proposed a new standard that will require heavy-duty automotive manufacturers to produce more electric, zero-emission vehicles. Beginning in 2024, there could be thousands more new electric fleet vehicles on the market in California.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California / Comments are closed

Texas cities and fleet owners should take a closer look at electric buses

Last month, the city of Houston announced the formation of EVolve Houston, a partnership focused on accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, slashing transportation-related emissions and delivering cleaner air for the region. Considering Houston has some of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the country and nearly half of these emissions come from transportation, this strategy is a critical component for meeting ambitious climate goals and improving quality of life.

As the Energy Capital of the World goes electric with the goal of 30% of new car sales being EVs by 2030, cities, transit agencies and fleet owners across the state should also consider how investing in electric buses presents an opportunity to cut pollution, deliver on climate goals and generate economic benefits.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Texas / Comments are closed

Zero-emission trucks and buses can improve our climate, clean air future

This week, hundreds of officials from countries, states, cities and companies all over the world are convening in New York to discuss the future of our planet. Among the many solutions being discussed is one that sometimes gets less attention, but holds tremendous opportunity to tackle climate change and clean our air in communities across the globe: zero-emission trucks and buses.

I attended an event hosted by CALSTART where they presented information on their Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Program. This international initiative focuses on driving market development of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles through partnerships that promote supporting policies and investments. We also heard from leading government and corporate players like the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, FedEx and INGKA (formerly the IKEA Group) on the progress they are making to electrify their fleets. As Angela Hultberg, Head of Sustainable Mobility of INGKA, made clear, we are past the point of making commitments, we need to move to implement.

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

North Carolina’s transportation sector is poised for electrification, but creative solutions are needed to achieve success

In 2018, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80, an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and enhance public health statewide. It was an important step toward addressing the global climate crisis starting right here in our backyard. The governor’s order calls for the creation of a Zero Emission Vehicle Plan, which outlines a goal to get 80,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025. This is an exciting initiative that should help push the EV market along. But North Carolina is capable of achieving far more than is laid out in the current plan — most of which the state is already on track to achieve.

North Carolina’s transportation system has long been ripe for electrification. In fact, the state will likely reach or exceed 80,000 EVs, roughly 4.5% of light-duty (passenger vehicle) sales, by 2025 under a business as usual scenario. Therefore, a more ambitious target of 15% light duty EV sales, with an additional 5% medium-duty and heavy-duty EV (large trucks and buses) sales target, is not only achievable but also better supports the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% over 2005 levels by 2025. North Carolina will need to adopt new policies to support this ambitious goal.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, North Carolina / Comments are closed