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It’ll take a $1 trillion infrastructure investment to fully electrify the U.S. trucking fleet, study says


A study released on Tuesday claims that it will take a staggering amount of money to build and power the infrastructure to fully electrify the U.S. trucking fleet.

Charging Infrastructure Comes With A Massive Price Tag, Study Says

On March 19, the Clean Freight Coalition (CFC) released the results of a study looking at the realistic cost of infrastructure buildout for the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

According to the CFC, a complete transition to electric vehicles would cost the U.S. trucking industry upwards of $620 billion in charging infrastructure alone, including chargers, site infrastructure and electric service upgrades.

Additionally, U.S. utility companies would be required to spend $370 billion to upgrade their grid networks to meet the demands of just commercial vehicles, bringing the total cost to almost $1 trillion.

The CFC notes that the $1 trillion price tag does not include the cost of replacing diesel trucks with battery-powered electric big rigs, which “can be two to three times more expensive than their diesel-powered equivalents.”

The study notes that the path towards electrification for medium-duty vehicle will be much less burdensome than for heavy-duty trucks.

Who Will Pay The Bill To Electrify U.S. Trucking?

The CFC calls on U.S. lawmakers to address these cost concerns as they move ahead with policymaking.

The CFC-endorsed study was conducted by Munich-headquartered consulting firm Roland Berger.

“This study thoroughly examines the issues surrounding the infrastructure buildout necessary to electrify commercial vehicles, and it clearly shows how the heavy-duty vehicle industry’s needs are vastly different not just from other sectors of our economy, but from each other,” said CFC Executive Director Jim Mullen. “I want to thank the team at Roland Berger for so clearly outlining the challenges electrifying our supply chain poses as the industry and nation continue working toward our shared goal of reducing trucking’s impact on the environment.”

“Electrification means focusing on the vehicle segments that are easier first; it means that we have to look at how fleets operate and potentially adjust; it means that we need better cooperation and planning across industries and governments; and it requires an openness to alternative technology paths to decarbonizing the heavy-duty segment,” said Roland Berger Senior Partner Dr. Wilfried Aulbur. “It also is clear that an industry with a yearly turnover of about $800 billion and a profit margin around 5% cannot invest $620 billion without financial support or a significant increase in freight rates.”

The CFC is made of up of “transportation stakeholders across the trucking and motorcoach industries.”


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