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PA trucking company awarded $1.8M to partially replace fleet with electric semi trucks

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Pennsylvania trucking company awarded grant for electric semi trucks and charging stations as part of Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Pilot Grant program. 

Watsontown Trucking, a part of Patton Warehousing and Logistics, was awarded $1.8 million through a state grant by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The money is a part of a $39.6 million total Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Pilot Grant, which targets diesel fleets, reported The Daily Item.

“We have been working with the state for about nine months on an application for the grant,” said Steve Patton, president of Patton Logistics. “I am very thankful to the state of Pennsylvania for awarding the grant to us and recognizing the commitment we have in reducing our carbon footprint and we are anxious to get this project started and get the trucks on the road locally.”

The grant will allow the company to replace five Class 8 trucks and install two fast EV charging stations. The trucks will mostly operate in Milton, Sunbury, Lewisburg, and Northumberland. Watsontown trucking previously had five zero-emissions vehicles already in operation “at our warehouse and logistics operation in Dublin, Virginia.”

“We work with almost all the manufacturers in the Valley, including ConAgra, Furmano Food, and PlayPower. We’ll utilize our ZEVs in servicing those customers,” Patton said.

“Clean air is crucial in ensuring a healthy environment,” said Jessica Shirley, state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) interim acting secretary. “That’s why we see it as our mission to address one of the most significant air quality challenges facing our commonwealth— emissions from transportation. These recommendations mark the highest-dollar awards in any round, for any Driving PA Forward Initiative funding program, showing a step forward in Pennsylvania’s effort to reduce these emissions by getting more clean trucks on the road in the communities that need them.”

“In the future, trucks are going to have to have much more robust length of haul for them to be used on over-the-road application,” Patton said. “And there is going to have to be charging infrastructure supporting it,” he said. “Those things are being worked on. This is the beginning of it. The infrastructure will start getting in place and the state of Pennsylvania has helped us do that. Because it is not only the trucks. It is the charging infrastructure. It is a significant operation that we are going to be setting up.”

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