Leaders of the largest U.S. trucking fleets are moving forward with planning and investment in fleets powered by sustainable fuels, according to a new survey released by TravelCenters of America Inc. Fleet companies have begun making investments in electric and hydrogen powered vehicles and expect to continue to do so in the next few years.
The survey was released as part of a new white paper from eTA, TA’s sustainability business unit, called “Sustainable Fuels in Trucking: The Greening of America’s Trucking Industry.”
“This white paper, the first in a series about the trucking industry’s transition to sustainable fuels and TA’s role in that process, identifies the key challenges the industry is facing and the support it will need from federal and state governments to be successful,” says Jon Pertchik, CEO of TravelCenters of America. “One of the key findings is that many companies are hesitant to fully commit to alternative energy vehicles until the technology and infrastructure have matured enough for them to maintain efficient operations during the transition period and beyond.”
“With the current range of EV and hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks, fleet leaders want to see a substantial number of available fast-charging and/or refueling stations before making larger investments in new vehicles,” continues Pertchik. “TA plans to be a leader in providing EV charging stations and hydrogen refueling for trucks at its over 275 travel centers as the industry adopts these sustainable fuels.”
One in five companies responding to the survey already have some electric vehicles in their fleet.
About half expect to have electric vehicles in their fleet by 2030. Most responding companies anticipate that EV trucks will make up 11-25% of their fleet by 2030. Only 5% of fleets responding have hydrogen vehicles in their fleets today, but this number will likely increase to nearly 25% of fleets by 2030.
9% of responding fleets currently have CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles, with very few anticipating they will make up a larger percentage of their fleets by 2030.
Very few responding companies seem interested in vehicles powered by RNG (renewable natural gas) or LNG (liquified natural gas).
Trucking fleet leaders also look to TA to take a leading role in providing sustainable fuels so they can plan their own investments around TA locations that will provide alternative energy resources in the future.