Companies press EPA to adopt ambitious rules for zero-emission trucks
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Advocates for electric vehicles and clean air are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to take aggressive measures as it decides on new emissions rules for medium and heavy-duty electric trucks. With the growth of e-commerce, truck traffic has increased significantly, so the nonprofit CALSTART and other agencies offer incentives for companies to offset the cost of building the power and charging infrastructure necessary to spur the transition to zero-emissions trucks.
John Boesel, CEO of CALSTART, said the benefits are many.
"In the future, we can see a society where we have trucks rolling around with zero emissions and zero noise trucks, with drivers being much happier driving an electric truck and really benefiting communities over the decades that have been hard hit by diesel pollution and emissions," he explained.
CALSTART is an industry organization whose members include truck manufacturers, transport and delivery companies, cities and more. The so-called Phase Three rule would set greenhouse-gas emissions standards for heavy and medium-duty vehicles. But the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association told Congress last May that it is concerned about the cost, mileage range, battery weight, and charging availability in the absence of a national charging network.
California is making progress, with one big EV truck charging station already open near the Port of Long Beach, and three more coming online in Bakersfield, Gardena and San Bernardino by the end of the year.
Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO of Watt EV, the company building those stations, praised California's efforts to get more electric trucks on the road.
"So there are all sorts of mandates that are pushing users to adopt zero-emissions incentives," Youssefzadeh said. "But there's a tremendous amount of legwork that has to be in place while there's on the infrastructure side as well as on the truck manufacturing being able to produce zero-emissions trucks."
Public utilities are also mobilizing to expand service to the EV truck charging network. The EPA is expected to finalize the rule by early next year.
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