Calstart has launched a new project to guide investment in commercial medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle infrastructure along the U.S. East Coast.
The study will focus on I-95 -- one of the nation's most heavily traveled freight routes.
Dubbed the East Coast Commercial ZEV Corridor project, the study will incorporate input from fleet operators, the charging and fueling industry, utilities and communities. Its goal will be to determine the most equitable and efficient path forward to support medium- and heavy-duty ZEV deployment.
A Two-Year Project
Funded by a $1.2M grant from the Department of Energy, the two-year initiative will define the locations, contributors, and processes that will result in a zero-emission freight corridor up and down the Eastern seaboard, Calstart said in a press release.
The Calstart-led ZEV Corridor project will aim to transform I-95 from New Jersey to Georgia into a model of medium- and heavy-duty ZEV efficiency.
Calstart has worked for decades with government, vehicle and infrastructure manufacturers, and fleets to put into place clean-air regulations and to create the clean transportation industry necessary to meet them. Calstart's efforts have resulted in California leading the nation in zero-emission transitioning. Other states and organizations across the country are following quickly behind by following Calstart's and California's model.
Electric vehicle adoption is rapidly increasing in the United States, as is the number of commercially available zero-emission commercial vehicles, Calstart added. Building out commercial charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along I-95 will spur clean-technology industry expansion and enable more fleets to make the shift to clean vehicles.
"The I-95 Corridor project, once completed, will put into practice the integration of zero-emission vehicles, infrastructure, and addressing climate-change issues that has been carried out in other areas of the country," said John Boesel, president and CEO of Calstart. "The successful implementation of this project will put to rest the unfounded concerns of zero-emission opponents by demonstrating that this technology is both economically feasible and a benefit to all."
Solving the Problems of Cost and Time
The cost and time required to build out the required infrastructure for charging a nation of heavy-duty electric vehicles have been cited as major stumbling blocks to widespread and rapid adoption. Calstart, however, said it has already solved that issue.
Its recently released report, Phasing in U.S. Charging Infrastructure, Calstart said it details an efficient, cost-effective and relatively rapid buildout of that essential infrastructure, describing a phased-in approach that will keep pace with the MHD ZEV transition.
The Calstart study will be done with support from Momentum, TETC/I-95 Corridor Coalition, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Georgetown Climate Center, and Clean Cities Coalitions from each state along the corridor.
A second study, led by National Grid with a similar DOE grant, focuses on the I-95 corridor from Maine to New Jersey, and will, in combination with Calstart's study, provide a comprehensive analysis of the planning and investment needs that will lead to the construction of this cutting-edge electrified commercial transportation conduit.
"Readying our grid infrastructure for electric trucks will require careful planning and close collaboration across state lines," said Bart Franey, National Grid's vice president of Clean Energy Development in New York. "This DOE grant award brings the right stakeholders into the same room to chart a clear course for electric truck charging across the Northeast. This roadmap will inform efforts by states, utilities, and the industry leaders to create a seamless truck charging network across the region."