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Interim Solutions needed while New York Public Service Commission moves forward on longer term truck charging infrastructure programs

By Pamela MacDougall and Cole Jermyn

UPDATE: Since the publication of this blog post on April 27, 2023, the New York Public Service Commission has made meaningful progress within its new Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure proceeding. The PSC accepted comments on its initial questions from several dozen parties including EDF, and technical conferences are expected this fall. Despite this, the proceeding will likely continue into next year, leaving many early adopter fleets without sufficient access to charging infrastructure and potentially setting the state behind on its electrification goals. With deadlines from the Advanced Clean Trucks rule and emissions reductions goals from the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act rapidly approaching, now is the time to kickstart the deployment of truck and bus charging infrastructure in New York. The state must implement interim solutions while the PSC continues to move forward. Primarily, changes can be made to the medium- and heavy-duty make-ready pilot program by expanding its eligibility to be more accessible to different types of fleets, depot owners and repair shops. Additionally, the program’s budget can be expanded, as the Commission’s Staff has already proposed. The Commission must also work with its sister agencies including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Department of Transportation to support near-term deployments of charging infrastructure. Not only will these solutions help provide the charging infrastructure that fleets need now, but the PSC will have the learnings it needs to have a full-scale medium- and heavy-duty charging program in the future. Environmental Defense Fund commends the PSC for the progress made so far on the proceeding and is looking forward to working with the commission to ensure no time is wasted in deploying necessary charging infrastructure improvements.  

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Also posted in New York / Comments are closed

For a Clean, Safe Ride to School, Electric Buses Get Straight A’s. Propane? Needs Improvement

GreenPower electric school bus parked in front of the West Virginia State Capitol building; Charleston, WV

By Ali DySard and Melody Reis

School districts around the country are considering a switch to buses that use less fuel, cost less, and, most importantly, provide safe and healthy trips to and from school. Only one option wins on each of these critical criteria: electric. They eliminate the dirty tailpipe emissions of diesel and other fossil fuel models that harm vulnerable lungs, they save money on fuel and maintenance costs and they can even increase the resilience of the local electric grid.

This clear choice is why the majority of the EPA’s Clean School Bus rebate program applications were for —and nearly 100% of the first round of funding went to — electric buses.

But old technology habits die hard, and propane bus manufacturers have allied with propane lobbyists to push school districts to consider their internal combustion buses. And they’re using some of the fossil fuel industry’s old bag of tricks to take on their electric rivals.

Unfortunately, the truth is not on their side and propane does not come out on top.

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

One year later, taking stock of state “action plans” on clean trucks, buses

It’s been exactly one year since nearly two dozen U.S. and Canadian states signed onto a roadmap to 100% zero-emission truck sales by 2050. While this was an important milestone, it was only intended to be the starting point. States were encouraged to build on these plans by developing localized versions that would meet their own unique needs. It’s part of an MOU – the largest multi-state action on clean transportation in U.S. history — that 19 states comprising a third of the medium- and heavy-duty market signed on to back in 2020.

So, how are these state plans coming along? While many states have taken discrete steps to advance zero-emission truck and buses, most states that adopted the model action plan last year have not taken steps to develop their own blueprints for a zero-tailpipe future.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Texas creates task force to evaluate charging needs for ZEV trucks

Texas will create an interagency task force to evaluate infrastructure charging and capacity needs for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, a tremendous step forward in the state’s ongoing efforts to support the zero-emission vehicle industry.

The taskforce is the result of a rider adopted in the state budget, which was signed into law earlier this month. The rider requires the Texas Department of Transportation to coordinate with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Public Utility Commission and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to “evaluate how to deploy zero-emission medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle charging infrastructure to best support growth in that market” in a way that will “maximize competitiveness, innovation, and efficiency, while also maintaining the integrity and cost-effectiveness of the Texas grid.”

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Also posted in Texas / Comments are closed

Why Schneider’s deployment of 50 electric big rigs gives me hope for the future of trucking

Photo courtesy of North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE).

By Lindsay Shigetomi

It’s one thing to see electric trucks on the showroom floor, but it’s an entirely different feeling to see them out in the wild.

Earlier this month, I attended a ribbon-cutting event in South El Monte, California — one of the largest freight hubs in America — to celebrate the roll-out of 50 electric trucks by Schneider. While it is currently one of the largest deployments of class 8 EVs at a single depot, Schneider plans to add 42 more electric trucks to this location by end-of-year, which would have the climate impact of removing 2,400 gas-powered cars from the road.

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Also posted in California / Comments are closed

Policy and technology are driving clean truck momentum

Something exciting is happening in the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle industry. The trucks, buses and port vehicles that drive our economy are quickly heading toward a zero-emission future.

Automakers and battery manufacturers are investing over $600 billion worldwide through 2030 to develop new electric cars, trucks and buses. This shift will benefit the communities and the environment by reducing toxic tailpipe pollution. But it will also fuel a new generation of American manufacturing and technology jobs and innovation opportunities.

Battery, motor and charging technologies are all improving, and costs are falling — trends that will continue as more trucks hit the road. Add to that momentum a slate of federal and state policies that are spurring market supply and demand and providing funding to ease the cost of this transition, and it’s clear that the future of trucking is electric.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed