Representatives from all of North America’s major on-road truck manufacturers – Daimler Truck, Navistar, Paccar and Volvo Group – presented a common vision for an industry-wide transition to medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHD ) zero emission (ZEV). while speaking jointly on a panel Thursday at the Green Transportation Summit and Expo, and called for investment and coordination to support the deployment of ZEVs.
Noting that ZEV utility vehicles are in production and ready for use in many applications, Dawn Fenton, vice president of government and public affairs for Volvo Group North America, said the ZEV transition is about more than OEM innovation. . “To get these vehicles on the roads, our country must prioritize a coordinated and comprehensive strategy, driving ZEV adoption and closing gaps in charging and utility infrastructure,” she said. “For this reason, Volvo Group applauds the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provide significant federal support for the deployment of heavy-duty vehicles. zero emissions and infrastructure.”
All four OEMs are founding members of Partners for a Zero Emission Vehicle Future (PZEVF), a growing coalition of stakeholders from across the transportation industry that sees ZEVs as the future of commercial transportation. PZEVF members include trucking associations, private operators and other stakeholders committed to achieving the environmental and economic objectives of deploying the MHD ZEV.
Panelists addressed a wide range of issues, including the benefits of a coordinated national approach to deploying ZEVs, the importance of point-of-sale EV sales incentives to cover initial purchase costs for fleets and operators, challenges faced by burdened electric utilities with grid upgrades, and the interplay of federal and state legislation in aligning policies and programs to support the goals of deployment. The Curbing Inflation Act, which contains tax credits for purchasing MHD ZEVs and installing charging infrastructure, was cited by panelists as an example of policy progress, who warned that more needed to be done.
“In the early stages of the industry’s transition to zero emissions, subsidies and incentives are essential to help operators and owners offset higher initial purchase costs and encourage the deployment of these vehicles on the roads. of our country,” said Alec Cervenka, Kenworth’s zero-emissions sales manager, who represented Paccar on the panel. “In the future, as volumes increase and the industry brings economies of scale, we expect ZEV technology to deliver a total cost of ownership equal to or better than the current diesel truck.”
Panelists cited California as an example of MHD ZEV leadership, noting that more needs to be done to meet the aggressive ZEV adoption targets that many states are pursuing, with investment in charging infrastructure as an example. key.
“We are committed to producing zero-emission trucks and buses. The successful construction of charging and refueling infrastructure is a key driver for the successful adoption of zero-emission technologies,” said Kevin Maggay, senior director of public policy at Navistar, “As states seek to expand the deployment of zero-emissions technology for commercial vehicles, infrastructure construction should lead and keep pace with vehicle deployments to drive a technology transition. slowly. “
Despite the challenges ahead, OEM representatives were confident that through collaboration and cooperation between public and private stakeholders, the end goal of ZEV commercial truck fleets was achievable.
“From consumers to policy makers to OEMs, it’s clear that the nationwide transition to ZEVs is necessary and imminent,” said Kevin Otzenberger, senior marketing analyst for eMobility products at Daimler Truck North America. “We need to learn early lessons from this nascent transition in order to make the long-term national deployment of ZEVs a success.”