Recently, Zero-Emission trucks hit the road in California as part of Toyota and Kenworth’s Zero-and-Near-Zero Emission Freight Facilities Project. Toyota Logistics Services and UPS have 7 of the 10 trucks on the road. The project also includes two heavy-duty hydrogen fueling stations which were developed by Shell in California.
What exactly is a zero-emissions truck? Zero emissions or ZE “describes a vehicle with a propulsion system that emits nothing from a tailpipe. No particulate matter, no nitrogen oxide, no carbon dioxide—nothing adding to air pollution or global warming gases.”
ZE is electric and electric vehicles are going to be a part of the trucking industry in the future whether we like it or not especially, “as regulatory and social pressures mount around the world to eliminate mobile sources of greenhouse gases and airborne health hazards.” There are three solutions to storing electrical “fuel” for vehicles. Batteries, rapid recharge stations and generating electric power onboard to supplement a traditional engine. There are of course drawbacks to each approach. Batteries only last so long, rapid recharging stations can take up to 8 hours and generating electric power onboard can be costly and complex.
Either way, we will begin to see more ZE trucks in the future. According to the Rivalry Model which is a market scenario that looks at ZE adoption driven by market conditions, diesel will remain the dominant truck powertrain for some time with 66% of all new U.S. truck sales being diesel powered in 2040. Currently 80% of new U.S. truck sales are diesel powered.
In any case, zero emissions trucks are already making their way into our neighborhoods so we can expect to see more and more as time goes on.