Energy Exchange

New bill will make it easier, cheaper to buy electric trucks and buses

By Michael Colvin and Lauren Navarro

A new bill making its way through the California Legislature has the potential to help accelerate the much-needed transition to electric vehicles.

The law, Senate Bill 372, would create state programs that help owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses pay for the costs of replacing their diesel-fueled fleets with cleaner, zero-emissions alternatives.

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks create massive amounts of air pollution. This pollution deteriorates air quality and can exacerbate serious health problems for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory conditions. The pollution is particularly bad along shipping routes and near warehouses, many of which are located in and around low-income communities. So replacing these vehicles with cleaner, zero-polluting versions will immediately improve outcomes for these vulnerable populations.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California / Comments are closed

DOE’s SuperTruck 3 can help us reach a zero-emission future – if we have the right clean truck standards too

Cleaning up pollution from the U.S. trucking industry is an urgent need for the country. For the past decade, the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck Program has helped showcase solutions for a cleaner future. Now Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has announced a new generation of the DOE SuperTruck program – SuperTruck 3 – that will focus on higher efficiency and zero-emission solutions.

Through the SuperTruck 3 program, DOE will provide $162 million in funding to “pioneer electrified medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight system concepts that achieve even higher efficiency and lower emissions.” The funding focuses on a range of approaches, including all-electric systems, plug-in hybrid systems using renewable biofuels and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California / Comments are closed

Gearing up for a zero-emission world

President Biden’s sweeping infrastructure package includes $174 billion for electric vehicles, an investment that will speed the transition away from polluting gas and diesel vehicles and toward cleaner forms of road transportation. The upfront cost of infrastructure is a key barrier to rapid deployment of zero-emission vehicles and the health and climate benefits that an electrified vehicle future will provide.

The proposal includes a wide array of vehicle electrification issues — from research and development to manufacturing to increased capability to purchase clean vehicles. But when it comes to maximizing the environmental, health and equity potential of electric transportation, it leaves some critical considerations on the table. Most notably, the potential impact of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, or trucks and buses.

First and foremost, it is crucial that the country’s investment in zero-emission vehicles includes more than passenger cars and is ambitious in cleaning up all medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. President Biden’s call to modernize transit and expand clean school buses is well placed, but the call should extend beyond buses — and as soon as possible. This will require investment in all aspects of the supply chain as well as increased funding and programs to deploy increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles and charging stations throughout the nation —as well as ensuring that communities of color have the tools needed to benefit from the increased deployment of these vehicles.

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Also posted in California / Comments are closed

4 things every utility, fleet and energy regulator should know about heavy-duty truck charging

The transition to electric heavy-duty trucks is upon us, sparked by a steady decline in battery costs, continuous improvements in electric truck and charging technology, and growing recognition of the climate and local air quality impact of diesel trucks. But even as household names like FedEx, PepsiCo and Amazon have made public pledges to electrify their truck fleets, concerns that charging infrastructure will be able to meet fleets’ needs cost effectively threaten to slow the market-wide transition.

A study commissioned by EDF and conducted by Gladstein, Neandross and Associates addresses these charging questions and provides a pathway to ensuring heavy duty trucks can electrify.

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Also posted in California, Grid Modernization / Comments are closed

With its new zero-emission commitment, FedEx raises the bar on climate leadership

The pace of vehicle electrification continues to pick up steam. The latest company to make a big splash is FedEx — the delivery behemoth with more than 80,000 vehicles in its fleet. The company announced its pickup and delivery fleet will include only zero-emission vehicles by 2040.

This is an important step forward, not just for FedEx, but for the delivery vehicle market in general. The delivery vehicle market is particularly ripe for electrification, with numerous vehicle options already on or coming to the market. Recognizing the readiness of the technology, delivery company customers are pushing for their fleet partners to embrace these vehicles.

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Also posted in Air Quality / Comments are closed

Market certainty critical to hitting ambitious state zero-emission truck goals

Last year, a collection of 15 states and Washington D.C. committed to transitioning to zero-emission trucks and buses via a multi-state memorandum of understanding. This year will be a critical year for the effort, as these states begin to pinpoint the suite of policies needed to foster this transition in an equitable, maximally beneficial way.

The first critical step for these states is to get the ambition right. The targets set out in the MOU are a good start, but they can and should be more aggressive.

The second is to create the market certainty that will be critical to unleashing innovation.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California, NESCAUM / Comments are closed