SmartWay Heavy-Duty Truck Electrification Resources
As vehicle manufacturers continue to invest in electric trucks and more models are sold in production volumes, trucking companies, fleet managers, and drivers are considering the potential impact of electrification on their operations. Many tools and resources are available to inform and help fleets understand what’s involved in shifting from traditional diesel- and gas-powered trucks to trucks that use alternative electric drivetrains.
On this web page, EPA SmartWay provides links to a number of these resources. The page is organized by topics that we understand are of most interest to fleets, including links to calculators that can help assess the costs of investing in electric trucks. You also will find links to guidance materials, incentives and grant programs. These resources can be used to help make a decision on whether to invest in electric trucks, as well as the charging infrastructure, supplies and other equipment needed to support electrification.
Commercial electric trucks are anticipated to become more widely available over the next decade. EPA SmartWay encourages fleets to use the resources provided below and other reliable sources of information to stay up-to-date on the forces driving electric trucks to the market.
Funding: Grants, Loans, and Incentives
The following resources provide grants, loans, and incentives to help make commercial battery electric vehicles and charging stations more cost-effective:
California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)
A voucher program initiated by California’s Air Resources Board in 2007 provides buyers of electric trucks with up to $315,000 in available funding per vehicle under terms of its current voucher program. New voucher requests are typically accepted late in the fiscal year.
Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program – Environmental Protection Agency (2020)
The EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program funds grants and rebates that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines. Grants are awarded at the national, state, and tribal levels.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Incentives – ChargePoint (2020)
ChargePoint provides a list of tax credits, rebates, and grants provided by governments and utilities for the purchase of and investment in commercial electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
Federal and State Laws and Incentives – Department of Energy (2020)
The Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) maintains a comprehensive list of federal and state laws and incentives regarding transportation-related topics, including electric vehicles.
The following total cost of ownership calculators provide fleet managers with decision-making support regarding the true cost of adopting commercial battery electric vehicles:
Assessing Financial Barriers to the Adoption of Electric Trucks – Atlas Public Policy (2020)
Includes an analysis of the total cost of ownership of electric trucks, a dashboard tool that explores the analysis results, and a fleet procurement analysis tool providing fleet managers critical decision-making information.
Medium-Duty Electric Trucks – Cost of Ownership – North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) (2018)
NACFE published a guidance report which discusses the total costs of ownership of medium-duty electric trucks and addresses the market, battery technology, regulatory barriers, and the power grid. They also provide an Excel-based total cost of ownership calculator comparing investment in diesel or gasoline trucks against battery electric alternatives.
Total Cost of Ownership Estimator – California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)
A tool that provides estimated cost comparisons between zero- and near-zero emission, medium- and heavy-duty buses and trucks of the same sizes with baseline fuels, including gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas. Inputs on the availability of grants and incentives can be made to provide an estimate of potential cost reductions for zero and near-zero emission trucks, including electric trucks.
Total Cost of Ownership Calculator – Dana (2020)
Dana, a drivetrain and electrified propulsion system supplier, provides total cost of ownership calculators for diesel and electric vehicles.
The following resources provide insight into the technology and market readiness of commercial battery electric vehicles:
A Comparison of Zero-Emission Highway Trucking Technologies – University of California (2018)
Overview of hydrogen fuel cell electric, catenary electric, and dynamic inductive charging technologies, including infrastructure challenges and costs for each of the vehicle types.
Annual Fleet Fuel Study – North American Council for Freight Efficiency (2020)
Annually-published report analyzing the adoption of various products and practices for major North American fleets with the intent of improving freight efficiency.
Comparison of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Technologies in California – California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (2019)
This report compares emissions reductions and the total cost of ownership for various alternative fuel technologies in California.
Curve Ahead: The Future of Commercial Fleet Electrification – UPS/Greenbiz (2018)
Discussion of commercial fleet electrification with a focus on barriers to adoption, drivers of adoption, and strategies to accelerate adoption (Free registration required to view report).
Electric Trucks - Where They Make Sense – NACFE (2018)
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s guidance report provides an overview of commercial battery electric vehicles, their viability as an alternative to diesel vehicles, and the use cases where they are best implemented.
Electrification Futures Study: End-Use Electric Technology Cost and Performance Projections through 2050 – National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) (2017)
Forward-looking research project projecting energy use and electricity grid advancements through 2050, including a review of the transportation sector.
Fueling the Future of Mobility, Hydrogen, and Fuel Cell Solutions for Transportation – Deloitte and Ballard Power (2020)
This white paper is part of a three-volume series on hydrogen as a fuel source that provides an in-depth introduction to potential applications with a focus on transportation and freight.
Preparing to Plugin Your Fleet 10 Things to Consider – Edison Electric Institute (2019)
Guide to fleet electrification for companies interested in adopting commercial plug-in electric vehicles.
The Energy Consumption and Cost Savings of Truck Electrification for Heavy-duty Vehicle Applications – Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2017)
An analysis of energy consumption, performance, and cost savings of various battery sizes for heavy-duty trucks.
Transitioning to Zero-Emission Heavy-Duty Freight Vehicles – International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) (2017)
Report assessing zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle technologies' cost of ownership and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Truck Choice Modeling: Understanding California's Transition to Zero-Emissions Vehicle Trucks Taking into Account Truck Technologies, Costs, and Fleet Decision Behavior – UC Davis National Center for Sustainable Transportation (2017)
Includes an overview of zero-emission vehicles in California and a discussion of truck technologies, their associated costs, and sales projections through 2050.
Viable Class 7/8 Electric, Hybrid, and Alternative Fuel Tractors – North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) (2019)
Guidance report comparing the viability of various alternative fuels for heavy-duty trucks.
What’s sparking electric-vehicle adoption in the truck industry? – McKinsey & Company (2017)
Overview of electric vehicle adoption in the trucking industry with a focus on total cost of ownership and specific use cases.
Zero-Emission Drayage Trucks, Challenges and Opportunities for the San Pedro Bay Ports – University of California Los Angeles, Luskin Center for Innovation (2019)
An examination of the need to move toward zero-emission trucks in the freight industry’s drayage sector; includes a discussion of technologies and policies available to support a shift.
Charging Infrastructure and the Grid
These resources provide information regarding charging commercial battery electric vehicles, utility demand charges, and the potential impact that charging vehicles will have on the electric grid:
Alternative Fuels Corridors – Federal Highway Administration (2019)
Provides information regarding alternative fuel corridors, a nationwide network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highway systems.
Amping Up: Charging Infrastructure for Electric Trucks – North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) (2019)
Overview of charging infrastructure for electric trucks and a roadmap to electrification for fleets considering deploying electric vehicles.
Challenges and Opportunities of Grid Modernization and Electric Transportation - Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (2017)
A white paper addressing the impacts of electric vehicle charging on the electric power grid.
Electric Vehicle Charging Guidebook for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Commercial Fleets – Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (2019)
This guidebook was developed to provide fleet managers with guidance on the key steps of selecting, installing and maintaining charging solutions to meet the needs of their fleets.
Maximum demand charge rates for commercial and industrial electricity tariffs in the United States – National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (2017)
Provides maximum demand charge rates for commercial and industrial electricity tariffs in the United States. This is useful data for fleet operators trying to understand the potential cost of charging a fleet of commercial battery electric vehicles.
Overcoming Barriers to Expanding Fast Charging Infrastructure in the Midcontinent Region – Great Plains Institute (2019)
White paper reviewing electric utility demand charges as a barrier to electric charging infrastructure in the Midcontinent region and nationwide.
This page provides links to organizations engaged in the study of electrification in transportation, including heavy-duty trucks:
California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) – California Air Resources Board In collaboration with the California Air Resources Board, CALSTART administers HVIP, a program to accelerate the adoption of cleaner, more efficient trucks and buses. HVIP works directly with truck manufacturers, dealers and fleets to provide information and make truck subsidies available.
CharIN is a global association with over 200 members dedicated to promote inoperability based on the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the global standard for charging vehicles of all kinds, including medium- and heavy-duty trucks and equipment. Stakeholders include automakers, charging station manufacturers, component suppliers, energy providers, grid operators and others.
Decarbonising Transport Initiative – OECD International Transport Forum (ITF)
The ITF is part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Decarbonising Transport Initiative includes research and policy briefs covering the decarbonisation of the freight sector from a global perspective.
DOE Vehicle Technologies Office - U.S. Department of Energy
The home page for the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technology Office; the page contains links to research for various technology areas, including batteries, charging, and electric vehicles.
Guidance Reports on the Future of Trucking – North American Council for Freight Efficiency
NACFE's library of guidance reports on the market for electric trucks, including business models, charging infrastructure, and barriers to adoption.
ICCT Publications Library – The International Council on Clean Transportation
The ICCT publishes research on clean transportation across all modes, sectors, and vehicle technologies, including green freight and heavy-duty vehicle electrification.
UC-Davis Sustainable Freight Research Center Publications Library – UC-Davis Institute for Transportation Studies, Sustainable Freight Research Center (SFRC)
UC-Davis SFRC studies the decarbonization of freight, including transitions to electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Luskin Center for Innovation – Transportation – University of California
UCLA’s Luskin Center, Transportation, develops policy recommendations and research with a goal to help advance a transition to zero-emission transportation, including vehicle and truck electrification, shared mobility, grid and infrastructure development, accessibility, safety and more.