The electrification of transportation in the United States involves more than just electric cars. Trucks make up a significant percentage of the vehicles on the road, and they represent an even greater proportion of emissions.
To address this niche in the transportation sector, one utility is taking steps to support the electrification of commercial fleets in its territory in the Northeast.
In mid-October, National Grid, an energy provider servicing about 20 million people in New York and Massachusetts, announced it is taking the initial steps in the process of fleet electrification. Specifically, it has launched a study to assess the truck charging needs in its service territory, which includes nearly 3,000 miles of major highways.
The study is the first step in a two-year effort to build what the utility is calling its Northeast Freight Corridors Charging Plan. The plan will focus on highways with heavy trucking traffic, including I-95 and I-90, and areas with commercial activity, including the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The study will develop 20-year demand forecasts for more than 100 sites across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New England states.
National Grid notes that larger electric vehicles, including trucks, require frequent recharging on long-haul routes. However, despite all the recent investment in the nation’s charging infrastructure, options for electric trucks remain limited. Most charging stations are equipped only to serve smaller passenger vehicles.
According to the Environmental and Energy Studies Institute, trucks are responsible for 7% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Furthermore, major fleet owners have committed to transitioning at least 30% of their new heavy-duty truck purchases to zero-emission vehicles, including electric models, by 2030.