May 2020 Drive to Zero Newsletter

Welcome to the May 2020 Edition of the Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Newsletter! As always, please share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve Drive to Zero goals at Please feel free to share this newsletter with others.

Dan Welch
Senior Project Manager

Program Progress and Actions

  • We are hiring! To join the Drive to Zero team, check out the position listing.
  • Social media alert! @TeamDriveToZero is now live on Twitter. Please follow us and interact as we grow our network in the coming weeks. And let us know about your Twitter handle, if we have not already become a follower of yours. We look forward to sharing exciting new updates!
  • Policy and Action Toolkit Update: The Global Drive to Zero “Policy and Action Toolkit” has been updated to include new categories and examples of the policies and actions that governments, utilities, and industry around the world are taking to support zero-emission commercial vehicle uptake. The toolkit will continue to be updated regularly, so please alert us to new policies and actions in your communities. Webinar presentations coming soon!

News Updates

As the coronavirus dominates economic and health systems, many groups and organizations are  proposing better, safer transportation systems aimed at correcting current transportation shortcomings and serving all communities – a critically important mission, since COVID-19 has disproportionately harmed  disadvantaged communities.

The pandemic has not slowed some policymakers from continuing with their zero-emission goals. The California Air Resources Board has updated the proposed Advanced Clean Truck rule that would require automakers to sell zero-emission trucks as a percentage of their total vehicle sales. The proposal, which now features more ambitious sales requirements for several vehicle types, will be open for comment and voted on in late June. In Chicago, the City Council approved an ordinance requiring new residences and commercial buildings of a minimum size to prepare adequate electric vehicle infrastructure. The ordinance stands out for its application to commercial solutions, such as electrified loading docks.

Meantime, industry is adjusting to the coronavirus’ impacts on supply chains and reduced oil demand. Tesla has announced that production of its all-electric Semi truck will be pushed back until 2021. Similar delays may be expected as automakers confront reduced capital from falling light-duty vehicle sales and production shortages. Seizing opportunity, innovative startups may be well positioned to advance in this uncertain market, with a caveat that inexpensive oil may hurt alternative fuel vehicle sales.

Electric utilities are still eager and ready to facilitate the zero-emission transition. Two of China’s largest electric utilities are investing hundreds of millions to billions of dollars over the next several years to build residential and public charging infrastructure that total nearly 500,000 new charging points, including large charging parks. Swedish utility Vattenfall is also generating energy demand by requiring all of its company cars be all-electric starting in 2021, with charging stations installed at its office locations to support the adoptions. Actions like these and many others are highlighted in a report by non-profit Ceres that engaged companies on how utilities can best support the transition to fleet electric vehicles. If you would like a more interactive experience, infrastructure specialist Black and Veatch is hosting a webinar on May 21st on utility support for transportation electrification.

Lastly, innovative methods of supplying energy to zero-emission vehicles are regularly being developed and introduced to markets. High-powered mobile charging units deliver electricity to a stationary vehicle, thereby easing the logistics of managing facilities and reducing direct power demand on the electric grid. Volkswagen is introducing a mobile unit capable of charging vehicles at 150 kilowatts to the Chinese market, and fellow German company European Electrical Bus Company has developed a mobile unit also capable of 150 kilowatts for uses at transit bus depots. A U.S. transit agency is supplementing its depot charging with on-route charging, but rather than use overhead connections the agency has installed a wireless inductive high-speed charging unit in the road at a transfer hub. These examples of innovative transit charging solutions underscore the value of finding effective ways to charge buses that consume large amounts of energy. By using a third party to manage charging, one U.S. transit agency reduced its charging costs by 40 percent.


Events / Reports

  • New report shows key actions utilities can take to accelerate corporate transition to electric vehicles (LINK)
  • How Utilities Can Support the Future of Electric Transportation (LINK)

Fleet Deployments

  • One Major Fleet’s Experience Testing Electric Trucks (LINK)
  • Penske Truck Leasing Adds Terminal Tractor to Its EV Fleet (LINK)
  • Vienna buses to go electric next year (LINK)
  • 20 Solaris fuel cell buses for the Netherlands (LINK)
  • Putting hydrogen fuel cell trucks to work (LINK)
  • Anheuser-Busch, BYD join for largest Class 8 electric truck deployment (LINK)


  • EU electric utility vehicle registrations on the rise (LINK)
  • How Will COVID-19 Affect the Development of Electric Trucks? (LINK)
  • Electric Vehicle Sales Set to Crash in 2020 Amid Coronavirus and Oil Price Shocks (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • Daimler teams up with Volvo Trucks in fuel cell venture (LINK)
  • Karma unveils autonomous e-van on E-Flex platform (LINK)
  • China’s BYD, Toyota’s Hino partner in electric commercial vehicles (LINK)
  • Bollinger Unveils Electric Class 3 Commercial Truck Platform (LINK)
  • Tesla Delays Electric Class 8 Truck to 2021 (LINK)
  • Nikola Tre: A Zero-Emission Heavy Duty Truck (LINK)
  • Quantron expands conversions with Mercedes Econic (LINK)

Government Policies

  • A no-brainer stimulus idea: Electrify USPS mail trucks (LINK)
  • Coronavirus and the Fragility of Auto-Centric Cities (LINK)
  • Business backs vehicle emissions laws – Letter to EU policy makers (LINK)
  • LA coalition proposes $150 billion in nationwide stimulus for vehicle electrification (LINK)
  • The Biggest Step To-Date on Electric Trucks (LINK)
  • Road to Zero: the last EU emission standard for cars, vans, buses and trucks (LINK)
  • Chicago requires new residential, commercial construction include EV charging capabilities (LINK)
  • Emerging practices in Low Emission Zones throughout Europe (LINK)
  • Green Stimulus: Principles and recommendations for a 2020 economic stimulus package (LINK)
  • COVID-10 and the Sustainable Transport Community (LINK)

Infrastructure & Fuel

  • How Much Money Does Smart Fleet Charging Save? 40%, for This California Bus Operator (LINK)
  • Green hydrogen could be cheaper for heavy trucks than diesel by 2031 (LINK)
  • St Petersburg, Florida transit authority deploys WAVE inductive charging station for e-buses (LINK)
  • Mobile DC charging stations from Frankfurt (LINK)
  • Ionity opens 4th high power charging site in UK (LINK)
  • Volkswagen to bring mobile HPC stations in China (LINK)
  • CHAdeMO and China release new EV quick-charging standard, in a bid to leapfrog the industry (LINK)
  • The Hydrogen Economy’s Time Is Approaching (LINK)

Utility Policies

  • Largest utilities in China invest in charging infrastructure (LINK)
  • Vattenfall makes fleet electrification obligatory (LINK)

Batteries & Technology

  • Taking a Look Under the Hood of Electric Trucks (LINK)
  • Honda Is Giving Batteries From Old EVs A Second Life (LINK)
  • Poland developing e-bus with swappable battery (LINK)