15 states want all heavy-duty trucks electric by 2050

A contingent of 15 states and the District of Columbia have signed a memorandum of understating (MOU) to draft regulations requiring all new new medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks sold in their jurisdictions to be electric by 2050.

The states signing the MOU include: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

California already announced last month that it will introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate for commercial trucks, similar to the one already in place for passenger cars, in 2024. Beginning in 2045, the state will require all new trucks to be electric.

In addition to the largest long-haul semi trucks, the 15-state mandate covers large pickup trucks and vans, delivery and box trucks, and school and transit buses, according to a press release from the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM).

Freightliner eM2 electric short-haul truck

Freightliner eM2 electric short-haul truck

The states hope to achieve an interim goal of 30% zero-emission vehicles by 2030, ahead of full electrification by 2050, NESCAUM noted.

To meet those goals, states will need truck-charging infrastructure—like the one revealed last month for West Coast states. Electric utilities plan to install 27 high-power DC fast-charging stations along the 1,300-mile Interstate-5 corridor from Mexico to Canada, covering California, Oregon, and Washington.

The move, over the long term, might be good news for companies that already have a head start in the electrification of heavy-duty trucks—and potentially Nikola and Tesla, which are planning to launch zero-emission semi trucks.

The electrification of commercial trucks could conceivably be included in a reconciled transportation infrastructure bill, but it’s by no means a sure thing in the current political environment.

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