A coalition of states reaching across the country and into Canada is in the final stages of developing an action plan for the complete electrification of trucks and buses. This could spell substantial opportunities for ECs to install and maintain the necessary charging infrastructure for keeping these fleets running.
In 2020, 17 states signed the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding. Since then, the group has welcomed two more signatories. The complete list includes 18 states and territories—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Washington D.C.—as well as the province of Quebec.
Their effort is facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, a nonprofit association of air quality agencies.
Through the MOU, the states are working toward an action plan that would “advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) vehicles.” It builds on a similar effort to electrify light duty vehicles launched in 2013.
In the current plan, MHD vehicles are defined as any vehicle with a gross weight rating greater than or equal to 8,500 pounds (3,860 kilograms). It includes a range of trucks and buses, large pickup trucks and vans, delivery and box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks.
The goal of the action plan is to ensure that 100% of all new truck and bus sales are zero-emission vehicles by 2050, with an interim target of at least 30% by 2030. Having received public input, the group is entering the final stages of the planning process.
The action plan includes several recommendations, such as zero-emission sales requirements for truck manufacturers, fleet purchase requirements, grid upgrades, charging infrastructure targets and incentives for private investment.
The coalition recognizes that many of the recommendations could encounter resistance, but it emphasizes the imperative. The action plan notes that transportation of freight and people is the largest source of greenhouse gases, and that MHD vehicles are a significant component of these emissions.