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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Developing Zero-Emission Bus and Truck Markets Will Require a Mix of Financial Incentives, Sale Mandates, and Demonstration Projects

  • Author(s): Burke, Andrew
  • Miller, Marshall
  • et al.

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California has a number of programs intended to encourage the introduction of zero- and near-zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies into the medium- and heavy-duty truck markets. Meeting the goals of these programs will require the sale of large numbers of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell transit buses and trucks by 2025 and beyond. However, several barriers to widespread adoption of these technologies will need to be addressed, including their purchase price, utility, durability and reliability, as well as the cost of energy and the availability of refueling infrastructure. Policies such as mandates or incentives will likely be necessary to overcome these barriers and the uncertainty of adopting a new, unproven technology. These policies must make economic sense to both the bus and truck manufacturers and the vehicle purchasers if they are to be successful in the long term. To gain a better understanding of the financial barriers for ZEV bus and truck adoption, researchers at UC Davis conducted technology and cost assessments for batteryelectric and fuel cell vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty truck sector. High-level findings and the policy implications of this research are summarized in this brief.

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