New Coalition Aims to Accelerate Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure

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by | Jan 31, 2024

Infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles is a critical component of widespread adoption, and a lack of infrastructure is likely to hold back the industry from these vehicles making it onto roadways at scale.

A new, cross-industry coalition is aiming to eliminate that barrier by accelerating the deployment of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) infrastructure and enhancing national climate policies to address the needs of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs. Known as Powering America’s Commercial Transportation (PACT), the coalition is established by Daimler Truck North America, Navistar, and Volvo Group North America, who together represent roughly 70% of all new medium- and heavy-duty truck sales in the United States. Other founding members include ABB E-mobility, Burns & McDonnell, Greenlane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Prologis, and Voltera. 

The birth of the coalition comes as the global market for electric heavy-duty vehicles continues to grow and ZEV model availability expands.

Each of the PACT members has battery-electric vehicles on the market, but finds a bottleneck when it comes to widespread adoption of these technologies, largely due to access to charging infrastructure. That’s also because charging infrastructure in the U.S. has mostly focused on light-duty passenger vehicles, which does not include the considerations of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs.

However, charging infrastructure for passenger vehicles is also a big barrier to widespread adoption, and more charging stations are needed for many Americans to feel comfortable purchasing an EV.

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To boost infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs, dedicated considerations for capital investment, electrical grid upgrades, and dedicated charging equipment are needed. 

“Decarbonizing the commercial transportation sector — the fleets that keep America moving — is critical to meeting our nation’s climate goals. But the transition to zero-emission vehicles is stalling without the deployment of the needed charging infrastructure,” John O’Leary, president and CEO of Daimler Truck North America, said in a statement. “Through PACT, we aim to accelerate this infrastructure buildout so that fleets can adopt ZEVs at scale and we can all benefit from impactful emissions reductions as quickly as possible.”

The coalition said it will not advocate for a specific vehicle, power generation, or utility distribution technologies as it works to improve and accelerate employment of charging infrastructure to support its industry. PACT is open to all stakeholders in this area, including other OEMs, infrastructure developers, electric utilities and grid operators, and others.

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