Three of the nation’s largest medium- and heavy-duty truck makers snagged the apropos acronym PACT to advance electric truck infrastructure.

Powering America’s Commercial Transportation intends to address the mismatch between battery-electric vehicle availability and inadequate zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure.

PACT was established by Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), Navistar Inc. and Volvo Group North America. They collectively represent about 70% of new M/HD [medium-heavy duty truck sales in the U.S. Paccar Inc. holds most of the rest of the market share. It is not participating in the lobbying effort.

‘Critical to meeting our nation’s climate goals’

“Decarbonizing the commercial transportation sector — the fleets that keep America moving — is critical to meeting our nation’s climate goals,” John O’Leary, DTNA president and CEO, said in a news release. “But the transition to zero-emission vehicles is stalling without the deployment of the needed charging infrastructure.”

Coalition membership is open to all interested stakeholders, including other OEMs, infrastructure developers, electric utilities and grid operators.

Besides the truck makers, founding members include EV charging solutions provider ABB E-mobility, infrastructure engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, the Greenlane joint venture committing $650 million to build M/HD infrastructure, J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., real estate investment trust Prologis Inc., and electric infrastructure startup Voltera.

California drives manufacturing and fleet purchasing decisions

Transportation electrification largely focuses on light-duty passenger vehicles, whose sales are growing but much more slowly than expected. California regulations aimed at eliminating diesel trucks from the state’s roadways by 2040 drive manufacturing and fleet purchasing decisions. Ten states have adopted forms of California mandates.

Faster development and deployment of reliable and accessible ZEV infrastructure to power the nation’s commercial transportation fleet require a lot of money, electrical grid upgrades and dedicated charging equipment. Nearly 700,000 chargers will be needed nationwide to accommodate the 1 million Class 4-8 M/HD ZEVs anticipated to be deployed by 2030, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation. Those ZEVs will consume 140,000 megawatts of electricity every day. That’s equivalent to the monthly energy needs of over 100 million American homes.

“Through PACT, we aim to accelerate this infrastructure buildout so that fleets can adopt ZEVs at scale and we can all benefit from impactful emissions reductions as quickly as possible,” O’Leary said.

PACT will help sort out and educate on the complex transition, said Stephen Roy, chairman of Volvo Group North America and president of Mack Trucks.

Paccar takes a pass

Paccar, which has not joined the coalition, does not see infrastructure development as a business priority.

“We really don’t view that as our value add,” John Rich, Paccar chief technology officer, told FreightWaves earlier this month. “We offer turnkey solutions to our customers for their sites that need the ability to charge a truck. Our value add is to supply great equipment, support our customers, and keep them on the road and have superior uptime.

“It’s how we contribute to the system today. It’s how we will contribute to an electrified, zero-carbon world in supporting that customer. We are not an electric utility. We are not an electric infrastructure supplier.”

By contrast, Daimler is a partner with BlackRock and NewEra Energy in Greenlane, which plans public M/HD charging infrastructure on the East and West coasts and in Texas. DTNA also operates a 5-megawatt Electric Island charging facility with Portland General Electric near the truckmaker’s Oregon headquarters.

Related articles:

Electric trucks should shake off setbacks in 2024

California Dems lobby DOT for $700M electric truck charging project

Daimler Truck, Blackrock and NextEra Energy’s $650M bet on electric infrastructure

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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