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The Biden Administration has released a new plan to transform the U.S. freight and transport sector by creating a National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy

Landmark Strategy Will Build on New National Electric Vehicle Freight Corridors Designated by the Federal Highway Administration and Advance the President’s Clean Transportation Goal to Decarbonize the Freight Sector to…

The groundbreaking plan will expand on the new National Electric Vehicle Freight Corridors designated by the Federal Highway Administration and support the President’s goal to make the freight sector cleaner to benefit communities, the environment, and the economy.

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the release of the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy. National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor StrategyDeveloped by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Strategy will guide the deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (ZE-MHDV) charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure from 2024 to 2040. The Strategy is designed to meet growing market demands by targeting public investment to amplify private sector momentum, focus utility and regulatory energy planning, align industry activity, and improve air quality in local communities heavily impacted by diesel emissions. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Strategy will guide the deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (ZE-MHDV) charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure from 2024 to 2040. The Strategy is designed to meet growing market demands by targeting public investment to amplify private sector momentum, focus utility and regulatory energy planning, align industry activity, and improve air quality in local communities heavily impacted by diesel emissions.

For over a century, petroleum-fueled freight has transported vital food and resources to American families but at the same time, these vehicles have also contributed to lower public health, especially in densely populated communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Biden-Harris Administration is addressing this issue head-on with innovative strategies to transform freight so it not only supports American families and businesses, but also protects the environment for future generations.

This is a big move to deliver environmental justice – 75% of heavy truck traffic travels on just 4% of our nation’s roads, jeopardizing the health of our most vulnerable communities,” said President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “President Biden’s historic investments in zero-emission infrastructure on those high-traffic roads and the hubs they connect will rapidly transform freight transport in the U.S. and strengthen American innovation. Through the President’s whole-of-government strategy, this administration is delivering a win-win-win for frontline communities who will benefit from cleaner air, businesses that will save millions on fuel costs, and for our climate.

This landmark strategy brings us one step closer to achieving a zero-emission transportation sector that provides clean air for communities, creates market certainty for industries investing in clean technology, and strengthens our supply chains,” said Senator Alex Padilla. I’m grateful to the Administration for advancing this whole-of-government effort and heeding my calls to launch a national strategy to accelerate the build-out of heavy-duty vehicle infrastructure. This all-hands-on-deck approach from the federal government and industry partners will enable us to realize California’s and the Administration’s zero-emission goals.

Providing ubiquitous and convenient access to electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen refueling along our nation’s freight corridors and at intermodal freight facilities and high-usage ports is key to achieving The U.S. aims to increase ZE-MHDV sales to at least 30 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040.The Strategy's aim is to coordinate public policy and investments by prioritizing, sequencing, and speeding up infrastructure development along the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN) in four stages. One of the main goals is to meet the current state of freight trucks and technology markets, predict their future development, and establish an ambitious plan to drive actions toward achieving decarbonization.

In line with the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy of the Joint Office, the Federal Highway Administration is declaring the designation of National EV Freight Corridors on the National Highway Freight Network and other important roads. These designations, mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), are a crucial part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to establish a convenient, reliable, and domestically produced national EV charging network that serves individual drivers and commercial needs.

Battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology, as well as other zero-emission forms of freight transport, have the potential to save Americans money on consumer goods due to reduced fueling and maintenance costs associated with transportation. This also brings significant health benefits to historically disadvantaged populations who suffer the most from pollution caused by freight emissions, and helps in achieving national climate goals.

The Federal Highway Administration is happy to announce the new freight EV corridor designations along our national highways.” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Medium- and heavy-duty trucks in our current freight network contribute around 23% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. transportation sector. These new designations and Strategy will help expand our national EV charging network, promote clean commerce within the freight community, and support President Biden’s goals of achieving net-zero emissions for the nation by 2050.” 

Under President Biden’s leadership, the number of publicly available EV chargers nationwide has increased by more than 80% to over 173,000, and at least 40 U.S.-based facilities for producing EV chargers have been announced or opened. President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has attracted over $25 billion of investment in the U.S. EV charging network. Today’s freight corridor designations are expected to attract even more investment for EV charging, with a specific focus on the needs of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

This is a comprehensive approach involving all parts of the government to align investments and speed up the sustainable and expandable deployment of dependable ZE-MHDV infrastructure. Focusing deployment in areas with significant freight volume initiates deployment in areas with the most potential to stimulate further investment. Deployment considerations include corridor segment usage by freight volume, port usage by annual freight tonnage, projected ZE-MHDV volumes, disproportionate environment and air quality impact from MHDV transportation and non-compliance with criteria air pollutants, states with ZEV deployment-enabling policies, and practical planning through DOE’s commercial ZEV corridor planning grants.

The National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy will prioritize, sequence, and speed up infrastructure along important freight routes and centers in four steps. These steps are:

  • Identify main centers based on freight amounts (2024-2027)
  • Connect centers along crucial freight routes (2027-2030)
  • Expand route connections to start network development (2030-2035)
  • Accomplish national network by connecting regional routes for widespread access (2035-2040)

See the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy for extra maps and details. 

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