Energy Exchange

Electrifying trucks and buses is an opportunity for lasting change, one we can’t afford to miss

The U.S. is still struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 and quantify the human and economic consequences of this historic tragedy. But already, leaders are contemplating how we’ll restore our economies. Will we rebuild a replica of what we had, or will we invest in ideas that will make society more resilient, healthier, cleaner and more equitable?

The transportation sector is on the cusp of massive change, and one segment within it is ripe for reinvention: medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. These include everything from semi-trucks and delivery vans, to city buses and garbage trucks — the overwhelming majority of which are powered by diesel engines.

Electrifying this segment was an opportunity for lasting change before the COVID-19 economic crash. Now that countries are considering where to invest to rebuild their economies, it’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

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Posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Tagged | Comments are closed

Some of the biggest names in trucking are calling for federal support of electric trucks and buses

Momentum is building for federal support of truck electrification, and today’s launch of the National Zero-Emission Truck Coalition is a great example of how federal incentives are urgently needed to clean up our air, create tens of thousands of jobs and solidify American competitiveness in the global zero-emission truck market.

Organized by CALSTART, the ZET coalition is a group of America’s biggest truck equipment manufacturers, suppliers and key stakeholders, such as Cummins, Daimler, PACCAR, Eaton, Tesla, Rivian along with Environmental Defense Fund. This knowledgeable set of stakeholders is advocating for federal charging and refueling infrastructure and increased federal investments in advanced clean transportation technologies.

The group is also advocating for a national point-of-sale incentive program to help drive the near-term production of zero-emission trucks and buses in the United States — a policy that for the last decade has stood out for its effective support of clean vehicles at the state level. Also called a “voucher incentive program,” this incentive structure streamlines access to grants that directly support the purchases of clean trucks and buses, including battery electric and fuel cell vehicles.

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Posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Electric Vehicles, Illinois, Jobs, New York / Comments are closed

Ready for delivery: Electric package trucks

Each March, truck makers and fleets from all over the country gather in Indianapolis to talk about industry trends and share the newest vehicle offerings. At this year’s Work Truck Show, which wraps today, the top discussion topic was the emergence of electric trucks, especially for local delivery.

But two product announcements in particular made headlines, and for good reason. They are evidence that what industry observers have long speculated is coming to fruition: local delivery is the next market segment that will go big for EVs.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

These 4 trends prove electric trucks and buses are revving up

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we’ll need to accelerate electrification of the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases in the world: medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. These include vehicles from big semitrucks and delivery vans, to city buses and garbage trucks.

Fortunately, this sector looks poised to grow through 2020 and beyond, good news for the climate and the millions of people who live in cities, where trucks and buses are leading contributors to local air pollution.

Here are four trends that I’ll be monitoring in the year ahead.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, 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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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