Truck OEM charter coalition to advance zero-emission vehicle era

Sources: Powering America’s Commercial Transportation, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Daimler Truck North America, Navistar Inc. and Volvo Group North America lead founding members of Powering America’s Commercial Transportation (PACT), a coalition focused on education and advocacy to accelerate the construction of charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Executives assembled at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. for a late-January kickoff, citing PACT’s “express purpose of overcoming the many barriers delaying access to ZEV infrastructure and enhancing national climate policies to address the infrastructure needs of ZEVs.” The Coalition will not advocate for specific vehicle, power generation, or utility distribution technologies.

Each truck original equipment manufacturer has battery-electric models in the marketplace, but sees access to charging infrastructure an increasingly significant bottleneck to the vehicles’ widespread adoption. PACT membership is open to all stakeholders with an interest in speeding zero-emission commercial vehicle deployment, including other OEMs, infrastructure developers, electric utilities and grid operators. Joining the manufacturers of Freightliner, Western Star, International, Mack and Volvo truck models as founding coalition members are ABB E-mobility, Burns & McDonnell, Greenlane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Prologis Inc., and Voltera. 

“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 needed charging infrastructure,” says DTNA CEO John O’Leary. “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.”

So far in the United States, PACT notes, transportation electrification has largely focused on the needs of light-duty passenger vehicles, a far different market segment that does not require the same unique considerations as M/HDs. Quickly deploying reliable and accessible ZEV infrastructure to power the nation’s commercial transportation fleet necessitates distinct considerations for capital investment, electrical grid upgrades and dedicated charging equipment. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, nearly 600,000 chargers will support a projected 1.1 million class 4-8 M/HD ZEVs anticipated to be deployed by 2030, which will consume 140,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per day or the equivalent of the daily energy used by 4.9 million American homes.

“Commercial vehicle customers require fast, reliable, affordable, and convenient power to effectively deploy ZEV fleets at scale,” affirms Navistar CEO Mathias Carlbaum. “To enable their success, we must work collaboratively across sectors to deliver an infrastructure that provides access to seamless electricity and meets the commercial transportation industry’s unique needs. PACT provides a concerted forum dedicated to making this vision a reality; truly working to accelerate the impact of sustainable mobility.”

Related articles 
Terex Advance, Navistar wire all-electric Mini-Mix model