This is the first installment of a two-part blog series on zero-emissions charging infrastructure for trucks and buses in New Jersey.
Electrifying transportation, especially trucks and buses, is among the key elements identified by New Jersey’s energy master plan to help the state decarbonize its economy by 2050. It’s one of the ways the most powerful to reduce pollution, improve equity and health, and drive economic growth across the country. the state. In 2021, New Jersey became the first state in the Northeast to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule – requiring manufacturers to produce zero-emission trucks and buses. The state is also a Northeastern States signatory to the Coordinated Air Use Management’s Multi-State Zero-Emission Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Memorandum of Understanding, requiring that 30 percent of sales of vehicles will be zero emissions by 2030. To enable these benefits and support the achievement of New Jersey’s electric truck and bus adoption goals, sufficient and timely charging infrastructure is necessary.
States, including New Jersey, are receiving a significant amount of federal funding through the Cut Inflation Act and National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to accelerate the transition, primarily targeting public charging infrastructure . This is good news and represents significant progress in vehicle electrification, especially for light commercial vehicle charging and solving range anxiety. Yet early adopters of zero-emission MHDV fleets will rely primarily on charging private depots at their own facilities. In 2021, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities released a preliminary proposal outlining the development of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle charging infrastructure statewide, but there were many gaps, particularly support for recharge of private deposits, in this proposal.
By analyzing actual New Jersey fleet data in the report New Jersey Medium Vehicle Fleet Electrification InfrastructureEnvironmental Defense Fund and Emerging Futures assessed the charging infrastructure needs of five real-world Class 3-7 fleets based in the state, the current cost barriers they face, and the policies and other solutions that may result in fuel savings for these fleets. ‘ transition.
New Jersey fleets are ready to go electric
Of the five fleets in the study, 80% of all trips made over a year could be satisfied with the current charging technology and without modifying operations. Additionally, up to 95% of trips could be completed successfully if two charging sessions were allowed. This shows that most MHDV fleets in New Jersey can successfully electrify without major changes to operations.
The cost of infrastructure remains an obstacle
With medium and heavy vehicles already able to do the job of their diesel counterparts, the next piece of the puzzle does so with cost parity or upgrades. Understanding the different types of costs will also be key to achieving New Jersey’s goal of having 100 percent of all new truck and bus sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2050. The study found examined the total cost of the charging infrastructure needed to support the fleets as well as total charging costs.
Looking at fleet electricity costs alone, transitioning to zero-emission vehicles would result in annual fuel savings of between $4,000 and $55,000 for all fleets in the study. However, when including the cost of charging infrastructure, only one of the five fleets was able to maintain fuel savings. Without financial support for private fleet infrastructure, these additional costs make it difficult to break even for most use cases. This is especially true for small fleets. Fleets of less than 10 trucks are particularly vulnerable to charging infrastructure costs and will require greater support to realize fuel cost savings.
An obvious barrier driving up the cost of charging infrastructure is the cost of preparation. The preparation costs represent at least 30% of the initial charging infrastructure costs for all the fleets assessed. This suggests that policy and incentive support for reducing these costs would have a significant impact on the total cost of charging infrastructure for fleets.
Managed charging can reduce infrastructure costs
Charging infrastructure costs can be further reduced through the implementation of managed charging, which will not only reduce a fleet’s charging electricity bills, but also the physical infrastructure needed to complete charging. By decreasing peak power as well as optimizing load scheduling, a fleet can reduce the size and number of chargers needed as well as the number of drop sites and network upgrades. For example, a fleet of four catering vehicles would require two 100 kilowatt chargers with unmanaged charging, but only one 50 kilowatt charger with managed charging, potentially representing $50,000 in capital savings without changing business operations. Managed charging should be at the heart of fleet programs to ensure that costs to fleets as well as impacts to the network are minimized as this sector transforms.
New Jersey’s fleets are ready for electrification and the technology is ready to support them. The state can – and should – implement programs to reduce the upfront costs of charging infrastructure as well as plans to reduce the cost of charging and improve network resilience. New Jersey can be a national leader in fleet electrification, and the way forward means lowering barriers and accelerating the transition to fully electric, zero-emissions fleets.