Dallas workshop showcases Texas-sized excitement for ZEV trucks

Last week, EDF and the North Central Texas Council of Governments hosted a daylong workshop on the state of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles in Texas. Over 100 fleet owners, managers, industry experts and government officials came together to discuss the latest technology for hydrogen and electric trucks, the state of the Texas grid and go along for a ride-and-drive on some of the latest truck models on the road.

The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S., and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for more than half of the smog-forming pollution from the sector. Freight trucks and buses also consume more than 55 billion gallons of fuel annually at a significant cost for truckers and fleets.

EDF is committed to helping fleets of all sizes transition to cleaner ZEV truck models and in the process cut dangerous air pollution and protect the health of communities. That’s where this workshop comes in.

EDF and NCTCOG provided educational tools and resources for attendees, as well as facilitating robust discussions with everyone from university researchers to fleet owners currently operating ZEV heavy-duty trucks in Texas. Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33), a member of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, was also on hand to talk about the federal infrastructure bill and the historic opportunities and investments for greener fleets and ZEV vehicles the law offers.

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Attendees were able to learn more about:

  • Regional air quality — Ann Xu, co-founder and CEO of ElectroTempo, presented detailed mapping for the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston regions, underscoring the fact that heavy-duty trucks account for only 3% of the vehicles in Texas yet 60% of the transportation-related nitrogen oxide emissions.
  • ZEV technology — A conversation with fleet operators — including HEB, Nikola, Hyliion, Lonestar SV— showcased best practices for transitioning truck fleets to ZEV options, reviewing everything from hydrogen long-haul trucks to battery-operated yard mules for warehouses.
  • Utility and charging infrastructure — Presentations from Oncor, the largest local utility in the region, as well as national vendors gave attendees insights into the considerations and decision points any company needs to make when setting up charging infrastructure at depots and warehouses for their ZEV trucks.
  • Funding options — The workshop concluded with an in-depth conversation on the financing options and government grants available to fleet operators of all sizes, including extensive lists and resources companies should consider when planning transitions to zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.

A working group is meeting to prepare a similar workshop in the Houston region this coming fall, stay tuned for more details. The Texas legislative session is coming up soon, and opportunities abound to harness and utilize existing momentum for heavy-duty ZEV trucks in the Lone Star State.

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