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Biden sets zero-emission freight goals

A new federal effort is targeting freight emissions.

The federal government is making a first-ever commitment to develop a national zero-emissions freight strategy.

Building on $165 billion of private sector investments in zero-emission vehicle technologies as part of the Investing in America program, the Biden-Harris Administration is setting the first national goal to transition to a zero-emissions freight sector for truck, rail, aviation and marine. 

According to the White House, this new commitment to zero-emissions freight aligns with and supports President Biden’s existing goals for a carbon pollution-free energy sector by 2035 and for achieving net-zero emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. The whole-of-government strategy includes new federal investments, engagement with stakeholders on zero-emissions freight infrastructure, and forthcoming action plans on each of the freight segments.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is also announcing a $72 million investment to establish a "SuperTruck: Charged" program that is intended to demonstrate how vehicle-grid integration enables depots and truck stops to provide charging while increasing grid resiliency.

Building on federal freight policies

According to the White House, this initiative builds on ongoing work across federal agencies to tackle emissions from America’s freight system, including: 

  • Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization: In January 2023, DOE, EPA, DOT, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) jointly released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization. The Biden-Haris Administration is coordinating with each of these agencies to draft a series of decarbonization strategies for each segment of the freight system.
  • Zero-Emissions Freight Corridor Strategy: In March 2024, the Joint Office, in collaboration with DOE, DOT, and EPA, released the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy, a plan for the development of charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure along high-volume freight highways and hubs by 2040. To complement this multi-phase strategy, DOT designated National Electric Vehicle Freight Corridors along the National Highway Freight Network and other key roadways.
  • Heavy Duty Vehicle Regulations: In December 2022, EPA finalized standards to reduce emissions that form smog and soot from Model Year 2027 and later heavy-duty engines and in March 2024, the agency finalized new greenhouse gas emission standards from heavy-duty vehicles for model years 2027-2032. 

According to the White House, the standards will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and provide $13 billion in annualized net benefits to society related to public health, the climate, and savings for truck owners and operators. 

[Read more: Biden launches major federal supply chain initiative]

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