Electric Trucks, Buses Critical in Fight Against Climate Change
Electrifying trucks and buses is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and are the best option for meeting California’s climate and air quality targets, according to a study released today by a number of environmental groups and an industry association.
Medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles will also create the greatest economic benefits, says the study conducted by Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the California Electric Transportation Coalition, of which Southern California Edison is a board member.
The study concludes that relying on diesel and natural gas trucks, even when powered by available renewable diesel and renewable natural gas, is insufficient to meet climate and clean air goals. However, widespread adoption of zero-emission trucks and buses provides a pathway for achieving these goals.
“These findings reinforce that our focus must be on zero-emission electric trucks and buses,” Paul Cort of Earthjustice said of the study. “Technologies that rely on combustion — even combustion of renewable fuels — are limited in what they can achieve and will not be sufficient to meet needed emission reductions.”
Those who conducted the study say significant investments must be made in EVs and infrastructure now to support the transition to zero-emission trucks and buses.
“We are running out of time if we are serious about meeting the state’s 2030 and 2050 pollution reduction goals,” said Jimmy O’Dea of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The findings of this comprehensive analysis are clear; switching to electric buses and trucks is critical for California to address climate emissions and tackle unhealthy air quality.”
SCE sees the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as vital to getting us to where we need to be in 25 years. That’s why we included it as a central component of our pathway 2045, SCE’s analysis of what must be done to meet state climate goals.”Katie Sloan, SCE Director
The study’s conclusions are consistent with SCE’s strategy for reaching California’s aggressive climate goals, says Katie Sloan, SCE director of eMobility and Building Electrification.
“SCE sees the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as vital to getting us to where we need to be in 25 years,” Sloan said. “That’s why we included it as a central component of our Pathway 2045, SCE’s analysis of what must be done to meet state climate goals.” SCE maintains that California will need to electrify 33% of heavy-duty vehicles, 66% of medium-duty vehicles and 75% of passenger cars.
SCE has been making plans for such investments. The utility recently launched a program called Charge Ready Transport to help add charging stations for industrial vehicles at more than 800 locations —enough to support 8,000 trucks — throughout its service area over a five-year period. SCE also plans to provide infrastructure for 48,000 new charging stations for passenger EVs through Charge Ready over a similar period.
“Electricity fuel in California comes from an ever-increasing amount of renewable resources, this state is heading toward a zero-emission electricity future,” said Eileen Tutt, executive director of the California Electric Transportation Coalition. “This report concludes that electric trucks and buses will cost owners less to operate than other options as soon as 2030 and will create the most jobs.”