Drive to Zero Newsletter – October 2023

Dear Drive to Zero™ Supporters:

In 35 days, we have the opportunity to change history, change our climate’s trajectory and change transportation for good at COP28— the largest global annual gathering on climate action. Zero-emission trucks and buses are critical to solving the climate crisis, promoting healthier air, and delivering economic, jobs and operational benefits. Drive to Zero is working with our partners collaboratively to pursue thoughtful, ambitious, and strategic movement to accelerate the policy, infrastructure, and finance solutions that can power a zero-emission transport future.

Can we count on you to help lift the voices of the zero-emission transport community? If you plan to be at COP28, please let us know when you will be attending. And, tell us if you have obtained blue zone credentials by filling out our COP28 partner survey

We invite you to join our zero-emission commercial vehicle events and those of our partners. For a full list of zero-emission commercial vehicle events, please visit our website.

Zero-emission trucks and buses must be prioritized now if we hope to right our climate future.  We need your help to drive global ambition, action, policy, and cooperation around these critical climate solution tools. We hope to see you at COP28!

— Stephanie Kodish, Global Director, CALSTART / Drive to Zero

Program Progress and Actions

California Hit ZEV Truck Sales Goal Two Years Ahead of Schedule

On October 23, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state surpassed its sales goal for zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) trucks two years ahead of schedule. With 7.5% of all new trucks sold in 2022 being ZEVs (7,639 ZEV trucks total), California has already exceeded its goal of 6% of new trucks sold in California being ZEV by 2024 by 1.5%. This builds on the announcement by Gov. Newsom earlier this year that the state surpassed its passenger vehicle ZEV goal two years ahead of schedule, with over 1.5 million ZEVs sold. California has distributed over $780 million to help fleet operators purchase ZEV trucks.

Have a Compelling, Authentic Story About Transitioning to Zero-Emission Trucks?

We know how hard you’ve worked to electrify your fleet, shift your business to increase or be entirely build in ZETs and spearheaded efforts in your community and on the international stage to enable transition to zero emitting vehicles. Your story needs to be on a global stage to showcase what the transition journey and its success looks like. We are collecting and sharing stories that shine a spotlight on efforts made by fleets and other stakeholders transitioning to zero-emission operations. We’re not just talking numbers, either; we want to talk about you—the people making it happen and the communities benefiting from these actions. It will be an opportunity to celebrate your success and inspire others!

If you’re interested in showcasing your success on the global stage with Drive to Zero, please reach out to Owen MacDonnell at

News Updates

Many of the world’s most influential stakeholders and thought leaders are gathering once again at COP28 to address the accelerating threat posed globally by the current climate emergency. Recent headlines show both the progress achieved worldwide by those committed to the transition to zero-emission vehicles as well as challenges they face.

Council of the EU agrees on new rules strengthening CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

The ENVI committee voted on the 24th to strengthen the proposal on CO2 standards for trucks and buses which passed the European Council last week. The next step is that these amendments need to be agreed to by all Members of the European Parliament by the end of November. Among other notable elements, the Council placed CO2 reduction targets for heavy-duty vehicles at -45% by 2030, -65% by 2035, and -90% by 2040, plus a target of -7.5% by 2030 for trailers. They changed the definition of “zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle” to decrease the proposed threshold to 3gCO2/tkm /pkm, as well as added a definition for non-certified vehicles with 1gCO2/kWh/km. The ENVI committee was slightly more ambitious, as for 2035 they called for a 70% target, higher than the 65% proposed by the Commission. They also said the standards should be extended to cover the 20% of heavy-duty vehicle sales which the Commission has proposed to exempt, such as garbage and construction trucks and small trucks driving in our cities.

Funding discontinued for Volta Trucks

After production delays and the significant hurdle of its battery supplier Proterra’s August bankruptcy filing, EV manufacturer Volta Trucks filed for bankruptcy. The startup, headquartered in Sweden, had raised over €460 million ($488 million) from investors and had taken orders for more than 5,000 vehicles. While in administration, Volta’s management will attempt to find a rescue bid for the company to avoid selling off assets to minimize creditors’ losses.

A 40-ton Mercedes-Benz e-truck just drove 1,000 km with only one stop to charge

Testing its long-distance haulage capability, development engineers at Mercedes-Benz drove an eActros 600 e-truck over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) through the Alps and only stopped once to charge. The truck, which carried 40 tons of weight, completed the trip from Germany to Italy through winding roads and steep inclines in seven hours. The eActros 600 is slated to go into production in 2024.

Tesla goes on hiring spree to finally bring Tesla Semi to volume production

So far, Tesla has only built around 70 Tesla Semi trucks after a full year of production. It now looks like Tesla intends to rapidly scale up the output of its battery-electric heavy-duty vehicles by means of a burst of new job openings at its Gigafactory in Nevada. The 10 new jobs Tesla posted, with include a senior architect and a mechanical design engineer, all address the need to design and construct a high-volume Tesla Semi production line at the Nevada plant.

Please share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve our Drive to Zero goals at Follow us on Twitter @TeamDrivetoZero. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others.

Justin Slosky, Technical Writer, CALSTART

News Digest


 Fleet Deployments

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

Government Policies

Fuels & Infrastructure

Batteries & Technology