Expanding Electric Trucking – Taking the Regional Route

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NACFE & RMI’s report explores the five best suited regions in the U.S. to be first adopters in commercial electric trucking, paving the way to reducing the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions around the country.

We are confident that there will be a significant, early wave of electric tractors in regional haul. For success, they need to be deployed in the regions where they will be most successful. This comprehensive framework is a strong start.

A report released today by the North American Council for Trucking Efficiency (NACFE) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) examines five U.S. regions that have key enabling traits which give these areas the best chance in expanding electric commercial trucking and therefore reducing the sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Recognizing places with the most favorable conditions for adopting wide-spread electric trucking is a key strategy to helping the trucking industry use more electric vehicles. The top regions shared traits that include natural conditions such as mild weather, access to necessary technology, a pressing need to improve air quality while also already existing large quantities of freight.

The trucking industry is essential – especially to support health care, the food system and e-commerce in this time of COVID-19 – and shifting to electric vehicles is crucial to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector.

The report narrows in on five highly qualified regions for trucking electrification in regional haul trucking: Northern and Southern California, the Texas Triangle, Cascadia, the Rocky Mountain Front Range, and the Northeast. “Regional haul” trucking generally has routes of less than 300 miles per day and drivers often return their trucks to a base at night, meaning batteries exist to support this driving distance and charging infrastructure is less complex to deploy.

NACFE has long championed regional haul trucking as the type of trucking best suited for electric trucking integration in the coming transition to commercial battery electric vehicles.

“We are confident that there will be a significant, early wave of electric tractors in regional haul. For success, they need to be deployed in the regions where they will be most successful. This comprehensive framework is a strong start.” said Mike Roeth, NACFE’s Executive Director.

The report also examines how cooperation between trucking fleets and multiple stakeholders is crucial to success:

  •     City and state incentives can help utilities with essential funding for infrastructure that also creates increased revenue for utilities, as well as incentivize trucking fleets to switch from diesel-fueled trucks.
  •     Trucking fleets can also partner with local technical schools and colleges to find and train staff to drive, manage and service electric trucks, creating local economic opportunity and job creation in a green economy.
  •     Early planning between these stakeholders is crucial to building infrastructure and helping truck fleets acquire vehicles, while also helping these regions avoid grid infrastructure problems or other challenges.

“In considering where to deploy electric trucks, there’s a lot to think about – everything from charging infrastructure to which climates the technology operates the best in to where the most funding and incentives are available. This framework helps not just fleets, but utilities, OEMs, policymakers, and others think through the many considerations to ensure that wherever they deploy electric trucks that they’re a success.” Patrick Browne, Director of Global Sustainability, UPS

Media Inquiries please contact:
Alexandra Chin, Media Relations Associate, T: +1 973-262-0002‬, E: achin@rmi.org

About the North American Council for Freight Efficiency
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) works to drive the development and adoption of efficiency enhancing, environmentally beneficial, and cost-effective technologies, services, and operational practices in the movement of goods across North America. NACFE provides independent, unbiased research, including Confidence Reports on available technologies and Guidance Reports on emerging ones, which highlight the benefits and consequences of each, and deliver decision-making tools for fleets, manufacturers, and others. NACFE partners with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) on a variety of projects including the Run on Less fuel efficiency demonstration series, electric trucks, emissions reductions, and low-carbon supply chains. http://www.nacfe.org

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at http://www.rmi.org or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.

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