Real-World Study Shows That Certain Trucking Segments Are Ready to Go Electric and Save 100 Million Metric Tons of CO2
New York City — September 22, 2021
A real-world study of 13 electric trucks delivering freight across North America has found that if all U.S. and Canadian medium- and heavy-duty trucks became electric, about 100 million metric tons of CO2 would be saved from going into the atmosphere.
Known as Run on Less – Electric and run by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and RMI, the study concluded this week after monitoring the electric trucks for the past three weeks. The trucks followed their regular routes delivering beer, wine, packages, electrical equipment, and more.
“It’s clear from the data collected during the Run that it is time for fleets to go electric in certain market segments, including the van/step van, medium-duty box truck, terminal tractor and short heavy tractor regional delivery segments,” said Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director.
All 13 trucks participating in the Run completed their daily routes hauling real freight in their respective locations and helped to validate some of the earlier findings from NACFE’s Electric Truck Bootcamp that took place just prior to the Run.
NACFE estimates that the four segments featured in the Run encompass 5.2 million vehicles but that these market segments are a gateway to the larger opportunity in longer regional-haul and long-haul trucking. Therefore, the industry will be able to leverage the learnings from the four early-adopter market segments for even greater reductions in CO2.
During the next six to 12 months, NACFE, RMI and various other partners will analyze both the quantitative and qualitative data collected during the past three months — including data from the Bootcamp trainings, fleet interviews and the Run itself. This will result in several reports and tools to help lead the industry forward. But NACFE believes the entire trucking industry has a responsibility to act now and begin the transition to electric trucks.
“Taking action now to decarbonize trucking is critical because although medium- and heavy-duty trucks make up 4% of all North American vehicles, they account for a quarter of carbon emissions,” said Jason Mathers, director, Vehicle & Freight Strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund. “The move to zero-emission vehicles will create clear health benefits for all of us.”
“As a fleet that has begun the transformation to zero-emission vehicles, we already have learned from and are acting upon the findings from the Bootcamp, the visits with the participating fleets and from the Run itself,” said Rob Reich, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Schneider. “I encourage all organizations in the electric truck ecosystem to do the same.”
“The trucking industry is sometimes characterized as a single medium- and heavy-duty market. Run on Less – Electric has clearly reminded us that the industry is multifaceted and there are key market segments ready today to take advantage of battery electric vehicles,” said Michael Berube, deputy assistant secretary for Sustainable Transportation at the U.S. Department of Energy.
NACFE thanks the fleets and drivers who participated in the Run, as well as the manufacturers and other businesses, utilities and governmental and nongovernmental agencies that supported the Run. Without the combined efforts of a variety of people in the electric truck ecosystem, the Run would not have been such a success. NACFE would also like to thank title sponsors Dana, Meritor and Shell for their support of the Run, as well as all the event and supporting sponsors for making Run on Less – Electric possible. A complete list of sponsors can be found here.
Valuable information including recordings of the Bootcamp trainings, participant profiles, daily stories from the road and 234 truck-days of metrics can be found at runonless.com. Information on the Run also is available at @RunonLess on Twitter.
Some of these vehicle-manufacturer pairings are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.
About the North American Council for Freight Efficiency
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to doubling the freight efficiency of North American goods movement. NACFE operates as a nonprofit in order to provide an independent, unbiased research organization for the transformation of the transportation industry. Data is critical, and NACFE is proving to help the industry with real-world information that fleets can use to take action. In 2014, NACFE collaborated with Carbon War Room, founded by Sir Richard Branson and now a part of RMI, to deliver tools and reports to improve trucking efficiency. Learn more at www.nacfe.org.
RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.