Published March 2021

Client: Environmental Defense Fund

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Deployment of medium- and heavy-duty (MD/HD) battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for commercial fleets is accelerating. Commercial offerings of MD/HD battery-electric vehicles have increased, and medium to large scale vehicle purchases are beginning to occur in leading fleets. At the same time, local, state and federal policy and goal setting for zero emissions vehicle adoption is expanding.

Within the medium and heavy-duty vehicle sector, Class 8 trucks present one of the most significant sources of emissions and have been one of the most difficult applications to electrify. These big rigs typically have fleet specific driving schedules, long driving ranges and heavy loads.  Given these challenges, it has been unclear from a public perspective whether and how fleets that depend on these vehicles will be able meet charging and operational demands with existing electric vehicle technology. The factors leading to this uncertainty have involved lack of access to fleet operations data that can be used to quantify needs, costs and operational conditions involving vehicle charging.

This study seeks to use real fleet data to evaluate the costs and capabilities of charging systems, and the impact of electric rate design and infrastructure policy on the ability of fleets to deploy electric vehicles in the heavy duty market segment.  In doing so, the analysis seeks to enhance the body of public knowledge on the needs and implications associated with charging systems and utility rates – as evaluated through the lens of two separate 40 to 50 Class 8 semi-tractors deployment projects at two locations in California.

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