US grants to accelerate Volvo electric truck uptake

EPA funds majority of significant VNR Electric fleet delivery in California

US grants to accelerate Volvo electric truck uptake
A growing fleet of Volvo's electric trucks will be on Californian roads over coming years


The US appears eager to incentivise electric propulsion, with Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) awarded US$21.7 million (A$30.6 million) to deploy 70 VNR Electric trucks in southern California.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Targeted Air Shed Grant Program (TASGP) is providing $20 million (A$28.2 million) funding, supplemented by $1.7 million (A$2.4 million)  from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) for charging infrastructure. 
VTNA will deliver the EPA-funded VNR Electric trucks to Southern California fleet operators for regional freight distribution and wharf cartage, starting in 2021 and continuing through 2022, allowing for at least a full year of operations by the end of the project period in 2023.

VTNA expects the official commercial launch of its VNR Electric truck model later this year.  
It says it will leverage best practices gained from the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, its collaboration with South Coast AQMD, and 13 other organisations to develop a blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale.

Combined with the other 25 truck deployments through the Volvo LIGHTS project, VTNA is committed to delivering nearly 100 VNR Electric trucks to the region for zero-emission freight transport.  

More on Volvo's VNR model, here

"This grant provides Volvo Trucks with an excellent opportunity to further expedite the success of the ecosystem designed through the Volvo LIGHTS project to support the wide-scale deployment of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks," VTNA president Peter Voorhoeve, who once led Volvo’s Australian operations, notes.

"We applaud the EPA and South Coast AQMD for addressing the key issues in advancing electromobility and incentivising technology investments in the region, and are proud they continue to trust in Volvo Trucks North America to lead the acceleration of Class 8 zero-emission vehicles." 
The TASGP focuses on the regions that have the highest ozone and particulate matter (PM) pollution, including California’s South Coast Air Basin, with South Coast AQMD the agency responsible for attaining state and federal air quality standards for the region.
"The EPA Targeted Air Shed Grant has enabled South Coast AQMD to continue partnering with Volvo Trucks for the swift deployment of nearly 100 heavy-duty zero-emission trucks," South Coast AQMD executive officer Wayne Nastri says.

"Innovative collaborations like this are key to bringing clean air to Southern California. South Coast AQMD is pleased to fund the charging infrastructure to support these new heavy-duty trucks that will operate in disadvantaged communities facing the brunt of air pollution."
The 70 Volvo VNR Electric trucks deployed through this grant are anticipated to provide lifetime emission reduction benefits of more than 53,160 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

As part of the project, South Coast AQMD will lead a data analysis effort to evaluate the extent of emission reduction opportunities presented by battery-electric trucks. 
VTNA will also gather deployment data to further refine total cost of ownership calculations, including actual vehicle maintenance and fuel cost savings, to fine-tune production at its New River Valley, Virginia, plant. 
"Volvo Trucks supports our pioneering fleet customers in paving the way to a real-world, sustainable transport future," Voorhoeve says.

"The large volume of early Volvo VNR Electric deployments in Southern California will help us kick-start this year’s successful commercial launch in North America."


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