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July 19, 2024
PI Global Investments

First national strategy for zero-emission infrastructure for freight trucks unveiled in US

The US Government has released the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy, which will guide the deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (ZE-MHDV) charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure from 2024 to 2040.

Developed by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation and the US Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the strategy is designed to meet growing market demands by targeting public investment to amplify private sector momentum, focus utility and regulatory energy planning, align industry activity, and improve air quality in local communities heavily impacted by diesel emissions.

“For over a century, petroleum-fueled freight has transported vital food and resources to American families but at the same time, these vehicles have also contributed to lower public health, especially in densely populated communities,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm. “The Biden-Harris Administration is addressing this issue head-on with innovative strategies to transform freight, so it not only supports American families and businesses, but also protects the environment for future generations.”

Providing ubiquitous and convenient access to EV charging and hydrogen refueling along the US’s freight corridors and at intermodal freight facilities and high-usage ports is key to achieving the country’s goals to promote at least 30% ZE-MHDV sales by 2030 and 100% sales by 2040.

The goal of the strategy is to align public policy and investments by prioritizing, sequencing, and accelerating infrastructure along the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN) in four phases. The phases include:

  • Establish priority hubs based on freight volumes (2024-2027)
  • Connect hubs along critical freight corridors (2027-2030)
  • Expand corridor connections initiating network development (2030-2035)
  • Achieve national network by linking regional corridors for ubiquitous access (2035-2040)

A core objective of the strategy is to meet freight truck and technology markets where they are today, determine where they are likely to develop next, and set an ambitious pathway that mobilizes actions to achieve decarbonization.

EV freight corridors

In alignment with the Joint Office’s National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy, FHA is announcing the designation of National EV Freight Corridors along the National Highway Freight Network and other key roadways. The designations, which are required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), are a critical part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s strategy for building out a convenient, reliable, and made-in-America national EV charging network that supports individual drivers and commercial needs.

“The Federal Highway Administration is pleased to announce these new freight EV corridor designations along our national highways,” said FHA administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Medium- and heavy-duty trucks in our current freight network contribute approximately 23% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US transportation sector. These new designations and strategy will help to grow our national EV charging network, encourage clean commerce within the freight community, and support President Biden’s goals of achieving net-zero emissions for the nation by 2050.”

Under President Biden’s leadership, the number of publicly available EV chargers nationwide has increased by more than 80% to more than 173,000, and at least 40 US-based facilities to produce EV chargers have been announced or opened. President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has attracted more than US$25bn of investment in the US EV charging network. The freight corridor designations are expected to crowd in even more investment for EV charging, with a particular focus on the needs of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

This is an all-of-government approach to aligning investments and accelerating sustainable and scalable deployment of reliable ZE-MHDV infrastructure. Focusing deployment on areas with substantial freight volume starts deployment in areas with the most opportunity to spark further investment.

Deployment factors include corridor segment usage by freight volume, port usage by annual freight tonnage, projected ZE-MHDV volumes, disproportionate environmental and air quality burden from MHDV transportation and non-attainment for criteria air pollutants, states with ZEV deployment-enabling policies, and “on the ground” planning through DOE’s commercial ZEV corridor planning grants.

See the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy for more information.

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