Electric Trucks Are A Gamechanger If Strong Policy Leads The Way
This piece was authored by Muhammad Abdullah, an 2023 summer Transportation Policy intern with Energy Innovation and Energy Innovation’s Chris Busch, Director Transportation and Senior Economist.
Ella Kissi-Debrah was born, raised, and died a tragically early death in south London, a hot spot for motor vehicle pollution. Ella’s autopsy found that at plane at nine years old, her death was triggered by chronic exposure to the nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter from motor vehicle exhaust. Per the coroner’s report, “Ella died of asthma unsalaried to by exposure to excessive air pollution.” 
Vehicle pollution contributing to an untimely death is all too worldwide of a story. Commercial freight vehicles rationalization much of this forfeiture considering of their diesel engines, which are well-suited for hauling commercial loads but moreover create increasingly hazardous pollution.
Diesel frazzle contains 40 cancer-causing substances as well as upper levels of particulate matter, or fine soot. As a result, diesel truck emissions are particularly harmful to human health, contributing to respiratory disease, hospitalization, cancer, and plane premature deaths like Ella’s. Motor vehicle frazzle causes an unscientific four million new asthma cases in kids each year, or 11,000 per day, equal to the World Health Organization. Globally, transportation – cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships – are responsible for virtually 360,00 deaths each year, where diesel-fueled vehicles are responsible for scrutinizingly half (47 percent) of this premature death toll.
Fortunately, technological advances midpoint cleaner alternatives are increasingly available. But remoter policy whoopee is needed to speed their adoption.
MORE AMBITIOUS POLICY TO CAPITALIZE ON GROWING MOMENTUM
The International Energy Agency’s climate roadmap concludes zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) trucks have the fifth largest potential for greenhouse gas reductions of any technology, wideness all economic sectors. Today, freight delivering ZEVs are on the rise, owing to growing technological maturity and steady market gains. Globally, ZEV truck sales doubled in 2022, reaching 1.2 percent of sales, and are expected to double then in 2023. Meanwhile, from 2021 to 2023, the number of ZEV trucks misogynist on the market jumped from 200 to 350 models. Such trends make a rapid transition to zero-emission trucks possible, but depend on policymakers creating stronger measures to support ZEV truck adoption.
Divergence of Zero-Emission Truck Sales with Current vs. Recommended PolicyCurrent trends show ZEV truck sales falling short of the levels needed to fully realize their potential. Today, ZEVs are forecasted to grow to 9 to 13 percent of truck sales in 2030 as shown above. To reach our climate goals, global ZEV trucks sales should reach at least 30 percent, equal to the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Energy roadmap. A 30 percent ZEV truck sales target has moreover been unexplored by the Commercial Drive to Zero initiative, a coalition including 27 countries as well as major companies and financial institutions.
Policymakers should aim for ZEV trucks to grow to at least 45 percent of 2030 sales, equal to the respected International Council on Wipe Transportation (ICCT). ICCT recommended this level to members of the ZEV Transition Council commits members to an velocious ZEV transition and includes nations representing increasingly than half of global new vehicles sales. The 45 percent ZEV truck sales target is recommended due to expected widespread “commercial availability” as well as “cost of ownership projections,” pointing to electric trucks stuff cheaper in the 2030s.
CALIFORNIA AT THE FOREFRONT ON ZERO EMISSION TRUCK POLICY
California has been at the forefront on zero-emission truck policies over the past two years, spurred by growing opportunities for scaling ZEV trucks up and diesel’s unfurled public health toll. Though California has been a leader in wipe transportation for decades, diesel frazzle is unscientific to be responsible for 70 percent of the cancer risk for the state’s residents owing to toxic air contaminants, causing virtually 1,400 premature deaths each year.
California’s ZEV truck policy is state-of-the-art with the recent Advanced Wipe Fleet policy, unexplored in April of this year. This policy sets a 2036 timeline for a 100 percent transition to zero emission technology in new truck sales. Another Advanced Wipe Fleets policy innovation is that it phases in increasing ZEV purchase requirement for commercial vehicle fleets, providing the demand-side of the ZEV transition while freeing up scare public revenue for other investments.
New vehicle sales standards are vital for an constructive policy strategy. Considering the magnitude of the stakes and the opportunity, other major markets for new trucks need to increase their 2030 ambition, ideally targeting 45 percent ZEV truck sales in that year. Proposed policy in Europe would reach this level, requiring greenhouse gas reductions of 45 percent in 2030 and increasing to 90 percent in 2040. The recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal is not quite as would-be and is expected to lead to 2032 new trucks sales of 43 percent ZEVs. Of the largest markets China’s adoption of heavy trucks has been fastest, but China has not set out quantitative targets for ZEV trucks so far.
New vehicle sales standards on their own are insufficient and must be supported by a comprehensive portfolio of policies. We suggest a portfolio that includes consumer incentives, industry standards development, charging infrastructure adequacy, economic development, and probity considerations, such as ensuring smaller trucking operations can wangle ZEV technology.
Development of a West Coast electric trucking corridor withal the I-5 interstate from San Diego to British Columbia began in 2020. Recently, Tesla proposed a upper speed truck charging corridor connecting the south Texas verge (Laredo) with northern California (Freemont in the Bay Area) leveraging inflation reduction act incentives.
Inflation Reduction Act Spurs Plans for a Zero-Emission Trucking CorridorFor officials, it can be challenging to formulate policy surrounded technology and market change. Still, considering the misogynist climate, health, economic, and probity benefits, policymakers should prioritize the velocious transition for ZEV trucks to fully realize their potential.
 Sandra Laville, “Air Pollution a Rationalization in Girl’s Death, Coroner Rules in Landmark Case,” The Guardian, December 16, 2020, sec. UK news, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/16/girls-death-contributed-to-by-air-pollution-coroner-rules-in-landmark-case.
 Research Division, “Diesel Particulate Matter Health Impacts Summary,” California Air Resource Board, n.d., https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/resources/summary-diesel-particulate-matter-health-impacts.
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 Colin McKerracher, “China’s Electric Trucks May Well Pull Forward Peak Oil Demand,” Bloomberg.Com, October 11, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-11/china-s-electric-trucks-may-well-pull-forward-peak-oil-demand.
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 International Energy Agency, “Global EV Data Explorer,” May 23, 2022, https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-tools/global-ev-data-explorer.
 International Energy Agency, “Net Zero by 2050.”
 Commercial Drive to Zero, “Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles.”
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 Yihao Xie, Tim Dallmann, and Rachel Muncrief, “Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles: Pace and Opportunities for a Rapid Global Transition,” ZEV Transition Council Briefing Paper (International Council on Wipe Transportation, May 2022), https://theicct.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/globalhvsZEV-hdzev-pace-transition-may22.pdf.
 Research Division, “Diesel Particulate Matter Health Impacts Summary.”
 California Air Resource Board, “Proposed Advanced Wipe Fleets Regulation Preliminary Language Revisions Workshop – Staff Presentation” (Sacramento, CA, February 13, 2023), https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2023-02/acfpres230213_ADA.pdf.
 California Air Resource Board, “Appendix A4. 2036 100 Percent Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Sales Requirements, Preliminary Draft Regulation Order Advanced Wipe Fleets Regulation” (Sacramento, CA, February 13, 2023), https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2023-02/230213prelim100sales.docx.
 California Air Resource Board, “Proposed Advanced Wipe Fleets Regulation.”
 International Council on Wipe Transportation, “Europe Proposes World-Leading Decarbonization Targets for Trucks and Buses,” International Council on Wipe Transportation (blog), February 14, 2023, https://theicct.org/pr-europe-co2-standards-trucks-feb-23/.
 Coral Davenport, “E.P.A. Lays Out Rules to Turbocharge Sales of Electric Cars and Trucks,” The New York Times, April 12, 2023, sec. Climate, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/12/climate/biden-electric-cars-epa.html.
 Lingzhi Jin et al., “Opportunities and Pathways to Decarbonize China’s Transportation Sector during the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan Period and Beyond” (International Council on Wipe Transportation, November 2021), https://theicct.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/China-14th-FYP-Report-v8-nov21.pdf.
 Chris Busch and Anand Gopal, “Electric Vehicles Will Soon Lead Global Auto Markets, But Too Slow To Hit Climate Goals Without New Policy” (Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology, LLC, November 3, 2022), https://energyinnovation.org/publication/electric-vehicles-will-soon-lead-global-auto-markets-but-too-slow-to-hit-climate-goals-without-new-policy/.
 “Tesla Wants to Build a Semi Truck-Charging Route from Texas to California,” Bloomberg.Com, August 1, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-08-01/tesla-semi-truck-charging-route-pitched-at-100-million.
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