EPA Seeks Comment on Electric Truck Costs, Charging

Commenters Have Until June 5 to Submit Feedback
Volvo electric truck charges
A Volvo VNR electric truck at a Southern California charging station. (Volvo Trucks)

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Prior to moving forward with Inflation Reduction Act funding for eligible recipients, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is seeking public comment on the availability of zero-emission technologies in the heavy-duty vehicle and port sectors.

“Although EPA already has considerable information about the availability of certain types of these technologies, in order to ensure that EPA has the most comprehensive and current information available in this dynamic space, EPA is inviting this comment,” the agency said in a May 8 Federal Register notice.

Specifically, EPA is interested in comments detailing the availability, market price, and performance of zero-emission trucks, zero-emission port equipment, electric charging and other fueling infrastructure needs for zero-emission technologies in the near term.

The agency also wants to know whether the components of these systems are manufactured in the United States.

Commenters have until June 5 to file their responses requested in the notice.

“Thanks to the president’s Inflation Reduction Act, EPA is taking the next step to invest $3 billion to fund zero-emission port equipment and technology and to help ports develop climate action plans to reduce air pollutants, improve air quality and public health in neighboring communities and advance environmental justice,” said a May 5 White House fact sheet. “EPA is also investing another $1 billion to reduce emissions from heavy-duty commercial vehicles, including those that travel in and out of ports.”

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EPA said the Inflation Reduction Act includes important new programs to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to improve air quality through use of zero-emission vehicles and equipment.

“Among these programs is a Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Program and Grants to Reduce Air Pollution at Ports Program,” the notice said. “These programs provide funding that EPA will distribute to eligible recipients.”

“It is well-known that ports and their surrounding areas are linked to high levels of emissions due to the age of equipment and idling times of trucks frequenting such locations,” said Glen Kedzie, principal at E&E Strategies. “Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the floodgate of federal dollars will soon begin to help turn over older equipment to new cleaner technologies resulting in improved air quality both at the port and within surrounding communities that are frequently occupied by lower income or minority populations.”

The request for information includes commenter assessments:

  • Current and expected near term (within three years) availability of potentially eligible zero-emission Class 6 and Class 7 vehicles — such as refuse haulers, day cab tractors, cargo vans, school buses and straight trucks — and with respect to commercial trucks that may be used at ports, such as zero-emission service trucks and Class 7 and Class 8 dray trucks.
  • Expected near-term characteristics of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (up to three years) and port equipment up to five years) and related fueling with regards to performance, reliability, and durability, including standard and optional warranty information, and descriptions of performance comparing the zero-emission truck or equipment to those operating on conventional petroleum-based liquid fuels.
  • Current and expected near-term market prices of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, port equipment and related fueling infrastructure, as well as the incremental costs relative to those operating on conventional petroleum-based liquid fuels.
  • Information regarding the extent to which materials are sourced from the U.S. and if manufacturing occurs in the United States to comply with Build America Buy America Act requirements currently, or in the near-term, especially with respect to electric charging and other fueling equipment.

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