Energy Exchange

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 Electric Vehicles / 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 California, Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM / Comments are closed

A teachable moment: Zero-emission school buses are a winning proposition

Every pre-COVID school day, approximately 480,000 school buses carry more than 25 million children to school across the United States. Most of them run on diesel fuel and spew pollution that causes cancer, triggers asthma attacks and makes climate change worse. Indeed, of the over 40,000 school buses registered in the U.S. in 2019, only 240 were zero-emission (and only about 1% of school buses are electric). This picture will not improve without intervention — barring additional measures, only 27,000 of the projected 560,000 school buses that will be built in the next 10 years will be electric.

Luckily, that intervention is starting to arrive. Today, Senator Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Senator Murray (D-WA), Representative Cardenas (D-CA) and Representative Hayes (D-CT) introduced the Clean School Bus Act a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will provide grants for infrastructure and vehicles, with an emphasis on deploying them in communities hardest hit by health-impacting air pollution.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

In 2021 we must set more ambitious targets for zero-emission trucks and buses

There is no question that 2020 was a hard year — for some, it was the hardest year of their lives. Yet despite the historic difficulty of 2020, there were some climate and air quality bright spots. For example, the march toward zero-emission trucks and buses is on. In 2021, we should increase our ambition.

Falling battery and vehicle prices, increased vehicle availability and a growing recognition that we must reduce climate and local air pollution from the transportation sector have sparked the transformation away from fossil fuel trucks and buses — classified as medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. In July, a coalition of 15 states and Washington D.C. committed to accelerating the transition of diesel trucks and buses to zero-emission alternatives. In so doing, they are committing to zero-emission sales targets — 30% of new truck and bus sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Given that these states represent about one-third of the U.S. truck market, this commitment is a big step forward.

However, these goals do not represent the level of speed or scope needed to adequately address the significant health and climate change concerns posed by trucks and buses.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM / Comments are closed

Electrifying Texas’ successful emission reduction program

A new Environmental Defense Fund analysis finds that Texas’ successful emission reduction program could be even more powerful if it went electric — not just for reducing smog-forming nitrogen oxides and other local air pollutants, but for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and sparking job growth in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

Administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan provides financial incentives to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment. The bulk of TERP funding has been dedicated to quickening the replacement of larger diesel vehicles — medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Since 2001, more than 35,000 TERP projects totaling over $1.3 billion in grants have reduced upwards of 183,000 tons of NOx, a major driver of the state’s air quality challenges.

Applying TERP’s annual grants to spur the electrification of Texas’ truck and bus fleets would decrease NOx emissions faster and for as little as one-third the cost per ton of NOx compared to TERP’s past grant programs.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles, Texas / Comments are closed

The connection between jobs and addressing orphan oil and gas wells

All across the country right now, there are tens of thousands of officially documented “orphan” oil and gas wells creating environmental hazards for their communities. These are wells that the oil and gas industry walked away from because they became uneconomic over time. Rather than properly sealing them, they left state and federal taxpayers holding the bag. These wells can be big sources of air, water and climate pollution if left unaddressed.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions more of these inactive, unplugged wells that need to be addressed. This is not to mention the potential for adding hundreds of thousands of currently active wells to the orphan well inventory as oil and gas producers struggle to survive the downturn in petroleum prices.

Luckily, efforts are underway in Congress and within the presidential transition plan to address these orphan wells. In his economic plan, President-elect Joe Biden laid out his vision for a cleaner and healthier future.

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas / Comments are closed