Explaining the key scientific ideas, technologies, and policies relevant to the global climate crisis.

Recent Podcast

In 2019, medium- and heavy-duty trucks accounted for about a quarter of U.S. transportation emissions while representing less than 4% of vehicles on the road, according to the U.S. EPA.

It is clear the trucking industry must decarbonize in order for the transportation sector, and the economy as a whole, to reach net-zero emissions, but which emerging technologies will move freight vehicles into climate-friendly territory is not yet clear, though electric is making great strides.

Climate Now spoke with the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s (NACFE) Executive Director Mike Roeth and Director of Emerging Technologies Rick Mihelic, as well as former RMI Senior Associate for Carbon-Free Mobility’s Jessie Lund (now at CALSTART), about why electric trucks are leading the carbon-free trucking game.

Chapters:
2:03 What is NACFE?
4:20 Current state of the trucking industry
9:35 Technologies for decarbonizing trucking
15:25 Are hydrogen fuel cell vehicles scalable?
17: 20 Understanding total cost of ownership (TCO) for trucks – traditional, electric, hydrogen
24:13 Fueling the 3-way “horse race”: infrastructural requirements for electric, gas, and hydrogen trucks
27:43 NACFE tested 13 real electric trucks on real roads with real drivers: here’s what they found.
31:04 The state of the electric trucking market today

Featuring:

Mike Roeth
North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) Executive Director

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Mike Roeth

North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) Executive Director

Mike Roeth is the Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and the trucking lead for the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). He has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for over 35 years and specializes in brokering green truck collaborative technologies into the real world at scale.

Rick Mihelic
North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) Director of Emerging Technologies

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Rick Mihelic

North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) Director of Emerging Technologies

Rick Mihelic is the Director of Emerging Technologies at the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and the President of Mihelic Vehicle Consulting LLC. Rick assisted in the development of the Peterbilt/Cummins DOE SuperTruck and the compliance systems for the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations. He was awarded the prestigious SAE L. Ray Buckendale Award in 2016 and SAE Crawford award in 2020.

Jessie Lund
Lead Project Manager, Trucking and Off-Road at CALSTART

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Jessie Lund

Lead Project Manager, Trucking and Off-Road at CALSTART

At the time of this interview, Jessie Lund was a Senior Associate with Rocky Mountain Institute’s Carbon-Free Mobility Program. She has since joined CALSTART as a Trucking and Off-Road Lead Project Manager. Previously, Jessie was an Electric Truck Program Manager for the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE).

Date: 01.17.2022 Running Time: 41 min
Recent Episode

There are several methods of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – both natural and technological – and each method has its tradeoffs.

Carbon mineralization is the most secure option for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) as it permanently sequesters CO2 in the crystal structure of rocks, forming a new mineral in the process.

But the natural mineralization process is too slow to keep pace with the rate of manmade CO2 emissions. So scientists are finding ways to speed up the process.

In Climate Now’s latest episode of our series on carbon dioxide removal strategies, we explore how the mineralization process works and how it can be enhanced to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on a large scale to help mitigate climate change.

Featuring:

Pol Knops
Founder of Green Minerals

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Pol Knops

Founder of Green Minerals

Pol Knops is the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Green Minerals, a tech company using olivine to mineralize CO2 and turn it into functional products like concrete and paper.

Date: 12.20.2021 Read Transcript Running Time: 14 min
Recent Podcast

Ride-sharing services currently result in 69% more emissions, on average, than the trips they displace, according to a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

But, if the ride-sharing vehicles were electric, it’s a whole different story. Replacing one gasoline-powered ride-sharing car with an electric vehicle (EV) has three times the climate benefit as replacing a personal car with an EV.

Some companies like Cruise and Aurora go even further, developing electric autonomous fleets, which could further reduce the carbon footprint of ride-share vehicles.

Climate Now spoke with Dave Rubin, Head of Policy Research at Cruise, a self-driving, ride-sharing service, to understand how electric and autonomous vehicles could help us decarbonize road transportation, and the challenges ahead for wide-scale adoption.

Featuring:

Dave Rubin
Head of Policy Research at Cruise

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Dave Rubin

Head of Policy Research at Cruise

Dave Rubin is the Head of Policy Research at Cruise,  a rideshare provider powered by self-driving, all-electric cars. Previously, he worked in strategic management consulting in Washington D.C. with a focus on transportation. Dave has a Master of Arts in Energy, Resources, and the Environment from Johns Hopkins University.

Date: 01.10.2022 Running Time: 43 min
Recent Episode

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has the potential to remove billions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually, which we will likely need to reach global climate targets.

In the first of our two-part series on CCS, we explored how carbon capture technology works, and the scale and cost at which it could be employed. But capturing CO2 is only the first step. We also need to keep that captured CO2 from returning to the atmosphere, permanently.

In part II of our series on Carbon Capture and Storage, we explore what to do with CO2 once it has been captured, its potential for utilization, and the logistics of transporting and storing carbon dioxide.

Featuring:

Julio Friedmann
Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA

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Julio Friedmann

Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA

Dr. Julio Friedmann is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA and was previously the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy.

Date: 12.06.2021 Read Transcript Running Time: 14 min
Recent Podcast

Climate Now is kicking off our Decarbonizing Transportation series by addressing a question that looms over the electric vehicle market: how can we sustainably manufacture and recycle EV batteries?

To learn about electric vehicle battery trends and challenges, we are joined by Andy Stevenson, former Special Projects Associate at Tesla and former Chief Financial Officer of Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company.

Featuring:

Andy Stevenson
EV Battery Materials Advisor and Investor

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Andy Stevenson

EV Battery Materials Advisor and Investor

Andy Stevenson is an electric vehicle battery materials advisor and investor. Previously, Stevenson was Chief Financial Officer of Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company, and a Special Projects Associate at Tesla.

Date: 12.23.2021 Running Time: 36 min