July 2020 Drive to Zero Newsletter | July 22, 2020

The past few weeks have been momentous for zero-emission commercial vehicles (ZECVs). The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, the most ambitious yet feasible regulation to advance zero-emission trucks. Following ACT’s adoption, 15 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have agreed to work together to accelerate the market for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. California and ACT set an example for other global regions. China is the world leader in vehicle deployment and supporting incentives, while Europe has pledged to make its Green Deal the centerpiece of its COVID-19 recovery including a suite of vehicle incentives and infrastructure investments for zero-emission vehicles. The adoption of sales mandates on zero-emission trucks beyond California can complement these incentives and send stronger signals that will enable much faster economies of scale worldwide. 

Cristiano Façanha, Global Director, CALSTART/Drive to Zero 

Program Progress and Actions 

  • CALSTART/Drive to Zero is organizing a digital dialogue on July 30 with CARB on its ACT rule, highlighting recommendations for other global regions seeking to learn from the California experience. Please register here. 
  • CARB Chair Mary Nichols spoke on ACT and the global significance of the rule on CALSTART’s Clean Commercial Transportation Update, weekly video series on clean transportation news. Please join us for upcoming presentations and to access previous recordings. 
  • CALSTART organized and launched the National Zero-Emission Truck (ZET) coalition, an industry group that supports federal U.S. policies to promote zero-emission trucks like a federal incentive program as well as strategic investment in infrastructure and research and development. The coalition of thirty-plus members includes manufacturers, charging services providers, electric utilities, and non-profits.  

News Updates 

CARB has adopted the most ambitious clean trucks policy in the world, the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, a policy that CALSTART supported with technical assistance as well as public and private endorsement. The rule takes effect in 2024 and requires at least 40% of all tractor-trailers and 75% of all delivery trucks and vans sold in California to be zero emissions by 2035. Consistent with Drive to Zero’s beachhead commercialization strategy, ACT will enable much faster ZECV deployment in urban regions as technology becomes more mature and cost effective for heavier loads over longer distances.  

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have signed on to a landmark agreement to advance ZECVs in their states. California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia aim to promote and invest in ZECVs with the goal of selling only ZECVs in their states by 2050.   

A consortium of industry leaders is advocating for a similar collective push toward zero-emission trucks in Europe. The European Clean Trucking Alliance, which consists of large fleets, auto suppliers, and non-profit groups, is urging the European Union to accelerate on-road ZEV truck adoption to meet proposed EU Climate Law targets by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Meantime, nations within the European Union are working toward such goals with stimulus packages to develop and support zero-emission trucks and buses, battery production, and heavy-duty charging infrastructureA proposed German stimulus bill worth €15 billion will include funding for research and development to improve bus and truck production and to support domestic battery manufacturing. The Polish Ministry of Climate Change is addressing service impacts to transit ridership by investing in new zero-emission transit and school bus programs worth a combined €90 million. Finally, the Austrian Ministry of Climate Protection is increasing funding for a ZEV incentive program that offers up to €130,000 for buses, €60,000 for commercial vehicles, and €30,000 for DC charging stations for commercial vehicles with greater than a 150 kilowatt output. 

Infrastructure networks to support ZEV rollouts are being expanded across Europe and the United States. A regional European stakeholder initiative, led by the Port of Rotterdam and Air Liquide, will install 1,000 hydrogen stations along travel corridors and at ports and freight hubs by 2025In addition, a recently completed study on the U.S. West Coast recommends installing targeted charging sites along travel corridors, then expanding over a dozen of those sites to support long-haul truck charging. Finally, American electric utility Southern California Edison is leading the way in heavy-duty charging investments with its $356 million Charge Ready Transport program for commercial charging stations.  

Lastly, the global community is taking increased notice of the importance of ethically sourcing materials and finding an end-use for EV batteries. The United Nations’ trade body has called for mining operations and automakers to address the social and environmental impacts of raw material extraction, particularly as the EV market scales up and negative impacts are exacerbated. Rather than scrapping used batteries, companies are considering the case for second-life batteries. 

Please share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve our Drive to Zero goals at info@globaldrivetozero.org. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others. 

– Dan WelchSenior Project ManagerCALSTART 


Events / Reports 

  • Electric Trucks in Regional Haul Project (LINK) 
  • A plan to install electric truck charging stations up and down the West Coast (LINK) 
  • Preparing to succeed: Fleet-wide planning is key in the transition to electric buses (LINK) 

Fleet Deployments 

  • Electric vans lined up by British Gas (LINK) 
  • Chile Orders 150 Electric Buses From BYD (LINK) 
  • Transdev Canada invests in electric school buses (LINK) 


  • Nikola vs. Tesla: Who Represents the Future of Trucking? (LINK) 
  • China dominates electric trucking (LINK) 
  • Eighteen European companies and organizations launch the European Clean Trucking Alliance to call for zero-emission trucks (LINK) 

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses  

  • Arrival expands beyond electric delivery vans with a new EV bus (LINK) 

Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road  

  • Next Up for Electrification: Heavy-Duty Trucks and Construction Machinery (LINK) 

Government Policies  

  • Goodbye, diesel exhaust. California adopts nation’s first zero-emission truck rule. (LINK) 
  • 15 U.S. states to jointly work to advance electric heavy-duty trucks (LINK) 
  • Bipartisan clean trucks agreement will drive innovation, jobs (LINK) 
  • Biggest Danish cities to only buy electric buses from 2021 (LINK) 

Financial Incentives  

  • Germany’s COVID-19 Stimulus Prioritizes Low-carbon Investments (LINK) 
  • Polish Ministry of Climate launches e-bus support schemes (LINK) 
  • Austria boosts EV and charge point subsidies (LINK) 

Infrastructure & Fuels 

  • Nissan Transitions to CCS for US and Europe, Dealing CHAdeMO a Fatal Blow (LINK) 
  • European hydrogen corridor for 1000 fuel cell trucks (LINK) 

Utility Policies 

  • Southern California Edison Begins Major Rollout of Chargers for Electric Buses and Trucks (LINK) 

Batteries & Technology 

  • UN highlights urgent need to tackle impact of likely electric car battery production boom (LINK) 
  • Second Life: Carmakers and Storage Startups Get Serious About Reusing Batteries (LINK)