Experts: EPA Rules on EV Trucks Are “Catastrophic”


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allowed California to set de facto national emission standards for commercial vehicles. The gravity of these mandates and how disconnected the Biden EPA is from current, real-world conditions became clear during a recent hearing.

[The EPA is mandating rules like this for the entire country. Also, most of our goods come through California.]

Andrew Boyle, ATA’s first vice chair and co-president of Massachusetts-based Boyle Transportation, went to Washington this week to testify before a Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on the future of clean vehicles.

The ATA is the American Trucking Associations.

As the manager of a truck fleet with one of the strongest environmental records in the industry today, Mr. Boyle presented the reality for California and nationwide over electric vehicle mandates.

The trucks won’t have the range they need, and the infrastructure does not exist. Motor carriers cannot properly plan and invest in battery-electric trucks without the required infrastructure.

Today, a clean diesel truck can spend 15 minutes fueling anywhere in the country and then travel about 1,200 miles before fueling again. In contrast, today’s long-haul battery electric trucks have a range of about 150-330 miles and can take up to 10 hours to charge.

Here is a clip from his opening remarks where he quickly explains:
One trucking company would have used enough power to charge up an entire city for only 30 trucks.

After one trucking company tried to electrify just 30 trucks at a terminal in Joliet, Illinois, local officials shut those plans down, saying they would draw more electricity than is needed to power the entire city.

A California company tried to electrify 12 forklifts. Not trucks, but forklifts. Local power utilities told them that’s not possible.

If the product, charging infrastructure, and power is not available to comply with these unrealistic timelines, then regulators are setting trucking—and the American consumer—up for failure.

“Remember, we deliver food, medicine, and baby formula…

Failure is not merely inconvenient; it’s catastrophic.”

The Costs Are Prohibitive

A new, clean-diesel long-haul tractor typically costs in the range of $180,000 to $200,000. A comparable battery-electric tractor costs upwards of $480,000. That $300,000 upcharge is cost-prohibitive for the overwhelming majority of motor carriers. More than 95% of trucking companies are small businesses operating ten trucks or fewer.

Complying with these mandates will push many carriers out of business and tighten capacity nationwide, causing severe price inflation for all goods.

Weight Is A Serious Issue

Weight factors are another inconvenient truth. Battery-electric trucks, which run on two approx. 8,000-lb. lithium iron batteries, are far heavier than their clean-diesel counterparts. Since trucks are subject to strict federal weight limits, mandating battery-electric will decrease the payload of each truck, putting more trucks on the road and increasing both traffic congestion and tailpipe emissions.

Sourcing rare minerals needed to produce lithium iron batteries is another major hurdle. Tens of millions of tons of cobalt, graphite, lithium and nickel will be needed, which could take as long as 35 years to acquire given current levels of global production.

Expanding that capacity carries a giant environmental footprint and would rely heavily on foreign child labor from nations like the Democratic Republic of Congo unless the U.S. is willing to permit more domestic mining operations.

  • Additional Problems:
  • California standards will unleash supply chain disruptions nationally.
  • Repealing the federal excise tax would create immediate environmental gains.

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