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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.