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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-duty Truck Technology, Markets, and Policy Assessments for California

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This report assesses zero emissions medium- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies, their associated costs, projected market share, and possible policy mandates and incentives to support their adoption. Cost comparisons indicate that battery-electric transit buses and city delivery trucks are the most economically attractive of the zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) based on their break-even mileage being a small fraction of the expected total mileage. These ZEVs using fuel cells are also attractive for a hydrogen cost of $5/kg. The most economically unattractive vehicle types for ZEV adoption are long-haul trucks and inter-city buses. Developing mandates for buses and trucks will be more difficult than for passenger cars for several reasons, including the large differences in the size and cost of the vehicles and the ways they are used in commercial, profit-oriented fleets. The best approach will be to develop separate mandates for classes of vehicles that have similar sizes, cost characteristics, use patterns, and ownership/business models. These mandates should be coupled to incentives that vary by vehicle type/class and by year or accumulated sales volume, to account for the effects of expected price reductions with time.

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