NATSO Manager of Government Affairs Thereza Cevidanes testifed on May 3 before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the best course of action in the near term for decarbonizing heavy-duty trucks is to put forth thoughtful tailpipe emission standards in conjunction with strong incentives for renewable liquid fuels.
Specifically, Cevidanes testified that the Administration should raise the mandate for advanced biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and encourage Congress to eliminate preferential tax treatment for sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF.
“Our membership is at the forefront of conversations with policymakers and other market participants throughout the country to try and make the [zero-emission] refueling network a reality,” Cevidanes said. “And although progress is being made, it is not being made at anywhere near the pace that this proposed rule appears to require.”
Cevidanes told EPA that the timelines laid out in the agency’s recently proposed standard simply do not comport with the market’s measured assessment of reality.
To support 25 percent of new long-haul trucks being electric by 2032, many off-highway refueling locations will need dozens of fast-chargers to service the heavy-duty trucks. A study from RMI found that the charging capacity required at a single large truck stop would be roughly equivalent to the electric load of an entire small town.
NATSO is not convinced that electricity providers will be able to increase generation and transmission activity to service that kind of load at scale within ten years.
The Clean Freight Coalition also testified that a transition to zero-emission trucks requires sufficient infrastructure in place, including the power grid and the necessary raw materials. The American Transportation Research Institute conducted a study which concluded that to transition to battery electric heavy trucks in the U.S. would consume 40 percent of the nation’s existing grid capacity.
“Fleets today who are seeking to add charging stations for their networks are being told by utility companies that they cannot provide even a fraction of the power necessary for their fleet, Jim Mullen, Executive Director of CFC testified. “The funding for these stations has become robust, but building them out is another issue. The U.S. cannot domestically source all the required raw materials, including required minerals. We must resolve this issue of sourcing the required materials.”
Cevidanes also testified about the need for tax parity between alternative transportation fuels and SAF. The higher tax credit for SAF encourages producers to make fewer gallons of ground-transportation biofuels than they otherwise would. SAF also results in fewer carbon emission reductions.
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