Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Mack Trucks, 30 Other Businesses Call On Pennsylvania To Accelerate Electrification Of Trucks And Buses

On July 20, dozens of businesses, including global vehicle manufacturing leaders, urged Pennsylvania decision makers to accelerate the electrification of trucks and buses throughout the Commonwealth. 

The Electrification Coalition delivered a letter July 20 signed by 31 businesses, asking Pennsylvania legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to advance additional policies and programs to meet the goals of the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), pledging that at least 30 percent of all new trucks and buses sold in Pennsylvania will be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050.

Fifteen states, including Pennsylvania, have already signed the agreement. To meet its targets, Pennsylvania must continue to move forward with policy actions, such as purchase incentives, electrification of transit and school buses and investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“We applaud the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for taking important first steps, including the formation of the Drive Electric Pennsylvania Coalition (DEPA) and the commitment to the multi-state agreement to electrify trucks and buses,” said Electrification Coalition Executive Director Ben Prochazka. “It is now vital to build upon that work by taking the necessary actions to meet the objectives outlined in the MOU. Doing so will yield important benefits for the future of Pennsylvania and the American transportation industry.”

Electric vehicle technology has improved rapidly over the last decade, paving the way for new models of every vehicle class. Mack Trucks, a part of Volvo Group North America, began taking orders in 2020 for its Mack LR Electric refuse truck, manufactured at its Lehigh Valley Operations plant in Macungie, Penn. 

The LR Electric is helping to build widespread acceptance of zero-emissions solutions in the very demanding refuse segment.

“Mack Trucks is committed to advancing electromobility solutions, both globally and right here in Pennsylvania,” said Jonathan Miller, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Volvo Group North America. “Pennsylvania’s participation in the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle MOU should be the impetus behind additional Pennsylvania policies to facilitate the deployment of zero-emission trucks here. These investments are supporting good jobs, clean air, energy security and climate protection.”

Signatories on the letter to state leaders include Amply, EVgo, Mack Trucks, Proterra, Rivian, Siemens, Volvo Group North America, Nestlé USA and other large and small businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

“The pace of electrification of all types of transportation and growing demand for infrastructure for electric vehicle charging will have a dramatic impact on energy infrastructure in Pennsylvania and beyond,” said John Vernacchia, energy transition segment director for Eaton. “We encourage our elected leaders to support a new power paradigm that advances the energy transition broadly, and vehicle electrification specifically.”

In the letter to state leaders, businesses called for the following policy actions to maintain Pennsylvania’s momentum for medium- and heavy-duty electrification:

-- Support for electrification of public transit and school buses to provide clean, healthy ways for Pennsylvania residents to travel to and from school, work and home

-- Support for incentives, utility investments and state targets that will accelerate the electrification of trucks that travel along highways and through neighborhoods

-- Investment in the development of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure to ensure that Pennsylvania does not miss out on the economic opportunities afforded by the electrification of transportation.

The United States is the world’s largest consumer of petroleum, accounting for one-fifth of global daily supply, with oil accounting for more than 90 percent of energy use in the U.S. transportation sector. 

The country’s dependence on oil has broad implications for public health, national security, the climate and the future of American manufacturing jobs.

“It’s difficult to overstate the influence that global oil markets have over our national security, foreign policy and economy,” said Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command and as Director of National Intelligence. “The United States spends tens of billions of defense dollars every year to protect U.S. oil supplies around the world. If we were to electrify our transportation system and end this overwhelming dependence on oil, we would be able to spend precious national security resources on priorities like dealing with China, Russia, Iran and North Korea."

Robust public investment and regulatory reform along the EV supply chain has the potential to create more than 500,000 jobs across the United States over a five-year period, according to a report by the Electrification Coalition and Securing America’s Future Energy. 

Nearly 154,000 of those jobs would stem from incentives that make it less expensive to purchase medium- and heavy-duty EVs like trucks and buses.

Conventional vehicles are a leading source of air pollutants that affect human health. 

Emissions from internal combustion engines contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and are a major source of particulate matter, which can trigger health problems such as aggravated asthma, reduced lung capacity, lung cancer, heart attacks, increased susceptibility to pneumonia and bronchitis and other health issues. 

Low-income and minority communities are more likely to be located near highways and other transportation facilities that lead to negative health effects resulting from vehicle emissions.

Transportation is also the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

According to the American Lung Association, widespread adoption of electric vehicles by 2050 would result in an estimated savings of $72 billion per year in health costs nationally. 

In Pennsylvania alone, the annual benefits would include $2.4 billion in avoided health-impact costs, 206 premature deaths avoided, 2,399 asthma attacks avoided and 10,814 lost work days avoided.

Click Here for a copy of the letter.

(Photos: Mack LR Electric refuse truck,)

Related Article:

-- Pennsylvania, 14 States, DC Sign MOU To Zero Out Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Trucks By 2050

[Posted: July 20, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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