Electric vehicles are a rapidly growing market, especially within the transportation industry. As climate change and concerns about air pollution continue to increase, many companies are turning to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint and improve air quality. Here is the direction the trucking industry is moving to become more climate cautious.
New goals and regulations around the country are pushing trucking companies to increase the urgency of moving their fleets to electric vehicles. In California, regulators are expected to enact bans on sales of new diesel big rigs by 2036. They will also likely convert large companies’ existing trucks to zero emissions by 2042. Many states follow California’s lead to adopt measures to force trucking companies to convert to electric vehicles. Most recently, Colorado passed legislation to reduce truck pollution. We’re also seeing moves from federal regulators. Most significantly is the EPA, which aims to cut pollutants by up to 60% by 2045.
Race Between Battery and Hydrogen Power
In a race to see what type of electric vehicle will dominate the market when these regulations take effect, there are significant debates between battery-powered and hydrogen-powered cars. Each has pros and cons; hydrogen-powered offers a better range and faster refueling, but the market is minimal, and the options are expensive. Because of this, battery-powered trucks appear to be pulling ahead. Estimates say that around 12 times more battery-powered truck models will be available this decade than hydrogen-powered models. They are expected to significantly improve charging time and range in the next decade. This is one reason why many trucking companies are buying into battery-powered trucks.
Infrastructure Advancements for Electric Vehicles
Four of the most heavily trafficked freight corridors are set to get new investments for infrastructure from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a top Department of Energy lab. These corridors include Utah, the Midwest, the East Coast, and New England. The lab designed and developed charging systems that can fit heavy-duty vehicles and charge them quickly. Notably, this will also include chargers for hydrogen-powered models. The project plans to partner with National Grid in the Northeast, a sign they will likely work with local utility companies on the other projects.
As electric vehicle use grows, so does the need for battery recycling. Batteries are a vital component of EVs. Recycling them is essential to reducing waste and minimizing the environmental impact of EVs. Several companies are starting to develop innovative solutions for recycling EV batteries, including processes that extract valuable materials such as cobalt and lithium for reuse.
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