Volvo Trucks North America has been awarded $21.7 million in grants to deploy 70 VNR Electric trucks in Southern California for regional freight distribution and drayage.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Targeted Air Shed Grant Program is providing $20 million in funding, supplemented by $1.7 million from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) for charging infrastructure – to improve air quality in the region.
Volvo Trucks will deliver the EPA-funded VNR Electric trucks to Southern California fleet operators starting in 2021 through the third quarter of 2022, allowing for at least a full year of operations by the end of the project period in 2023. The announcement comes as Volvo Trucks nears the official commercial launch of its VNR Electric truck model later this year.
Volvo Trucks will leverage best practices learned from the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project – its collaboration with South Coast AQMD and 13 other organizations – to develop an end-to-end blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale. Combined with the other 25 truck deployments through the Volvo LIGHTS project, Volvo Trucks is committed to delivering nearly 100 VNR Electric trucks to the region for zero-emission freight transport.
“This grant provides Volvo Trucks with an excellent opportunity to further expedite the success of the ecosystem designed through the Volvo LIGHTS project to support the wide-scale deployment of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “We applaud the EPA and South Coast AQMD for addressing the key issues in advancing electromobility and incentivizing technology investments in the region, and are proud they continue to trust in Volvo Trucks North America in the acceleration of Class 8 zero-emission vehicles.”
The EPA Targeted Air Shed Grant Program focuses on the regions that have the highest ozone and particulate matter (PM) pollution, including California’s South Coast Air Basin. South Coast AQMD is the agency responsible for attaining state and federal air quality standards for this region – including the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and the Coachella Valley. As part of the project, South Coast AQMD will lead a data analysis effort to evaluate the full breadth of emission reduction opportunities presented by battery-electric trucks.
Volvo Trucks will also gather deployment data to further refine the total cost of ownership calculations including actual vehicle maintenance and fuel cost savings – which can be even lower when combined with low carbon fuel standard credits and managed charging to reduce demand charges. Learnings from this project will allow Volvo Trucks to fine-tune the production at its New River Valley plant in Virginia, enabling seamless integration of the VNR Electric truck model into its manufacturing process for optimized, quality production.
Photo: A Volvo VNR Electric recently led a clean-energy truck parade of Southern California fleet operators to commemorate the opening of the new Port of Long Beach bridge