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US Senators and Representatives urge EPA to finalize strongest possible clean truck rule

Last week, US Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.-44), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Congressman Donald McEachin (D-Va.-04), and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.-07) led 61 of their colleagues in both the US Senate and House of Representatives in sending a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize ambitious clean truck standards (earlier post) that reduce NOx and greenhouse gas emissions and include requirements for the sale of zero-emission trucks.

Updating the outdated NOx standards is a top priority and it is critical that this rule provide pollution reductions that are at least as protective as the reductions that are codified in California’s recent Heavy-Duty Omnibus and Advanced Clean Trucks rules. This means, at a minimum, EPA should meet or exceed California’s Heavy-Duty Omnibus program by setting a standard that achieves, by 2027, a greater than 90% reduction in NOx emissions from trucks that are sold today relative to 2010 standards. Having a unified national program will provide needed equity of reduced emissions across the country, reduced regulatory complexity, and reduce unnecessary costs of complying with two separate regulatory requirements.

At the same time, this rule must accelerate the adoption of zero-emission trucks by providing a clear signal for manufacturers to chart a path to eliminating tailpipe pollution. At a minimum, the federal government should require that all new trucks must have zero emissions beginning in 2035, with intermediate targets before then. In addition, after completing this Heavy-Duty rule in 2022, EPA should move quickly to advance additional policies to eliminate emissions from the freight sector to accelerate the retirement of all combustion trucks by 2045.

—Letter to EPA Administrator Regan

There are currently more than 100 commercially available models of zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, with additional models expected each year.



Apparently, these politicians don't have staffers with much STEM expertise.

HD EVs may reduce NOx emissions in most cases, but that comes at the expense of significantly higher PM10, PM2.5, and SOx emissions, even in urban locations, from a complete vehicle life-cycle (LCA) perspective in long-haul operations, and even short-haul operations in some regions of the U.S., per Argonne National Laboratory's latest version of its GREET model (GREET_2021). That's more or less reflected in a peer-reviewed paper - (Figure 4). Even GHG emissions are roughly the same for long-haul diesel ICEV and BEV in that study, and even higher for BEV on a freight ton-mile basis when taking into account the lower payload capacity of BEVs (Figure 7). That study considers only well-to-wheels (WTW) emissions, not full LCA as GREET_2021 does. Projections for 2045 do not change this trade-off per GREET_2021 (LCA PM2.5 emissions are still ~2 times higher in long-haul BEV operations in both total and urban shares under the assumptions in GREET).

ANL is a U.S National Lab whose funding is ultimately controlled by Congress.

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