NACFE reveals top regions for electric truck deployment

TORONTO, Ont. – A new report from the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) looks to help fleets decide where best to deploy electric trucks.

But, Canada was not included in the study because the required data sets used to compile the report weren’t readily available from provinces.

Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE, said a future study will include Canada. “It’s on our to-do list,” he promised.

Still, the report provides useful insights into which areas are the most electric truck-friendly. California, Washington, Texas, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were among the states that are currently the most ideal for electric truck deployment. The focus of the report was on regions, rather than corridors, as its authors indicate return-to-base regional day cab applications are still the best suited for electrification.

A heat map indicating the U.S. regions best suited for electric truck deployment today. (Source: NACFE)

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s, Jessie Lund, co-author of the report, said it examined three key areas: Technology (the regions best suited for electric trucks); Need (the regions that stand to get the most benefit from electric trucks); and Support (those regions that offer incentives and where policymakers have indicated support for the technology).

Some factors that made the case for electric trucks more or less compelling are not controllable. For instance, Roeth explained, they perform better in warm climates and regenerative braking gives the greatest benefit in hilly terrain. He said the report was compiled at the request of fleets, many of which were struggling to determine where first to deploy electric trucks.

“In considering where to deploy electric trucks, there’s a lot to think about – everything from charging infrastructure to which climates the technology operates the best in to where the most funding and incentives are available,” said Patrick Browne, director of global sustainability for UPS. “This framework helps not just fleets, but utilities, OEMs, policymakers, and others think through the many considerations to ensure that wherever they deploy electric trucks that they’re a success.”

Other key findings include:

  • Regions favorable for electric truck deployments are found across the entire country.
  • The Northern California, Southern California, Texas Triangle, Cascadia, Front Range, and Northeast megaregions show particularly high potential
  • Many trucking operations are not confined to individual states, and as such, fleets should think about electric vehicle deployments at the regional level.
  • Policies and incentives to support electric truck adoption vary drastically by region.
  • Policymakers and advocates looking to increase adoption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in their regions should consider which of the framework criteria they can change.
  • This analysis identifies the regions with the highest potential for regional haul electric trucks now. As the technology develops further, we expect even more regions to favor electric trucks.
  • Fleets should work with policymakers, regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders in their region to collaboratively develop strategies to advance zero-emission trucks.

The report can be downloaded here.

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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