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PA mayors write letter to Biden asking for highest-level of emission standards for HDVs

February 12, 2024 1:45 PM | Megan Magensky (Administrator)

75 Pennsylvania mayors sent a letter urging the Biden administration to finalize the US Environmental Protection Agency’s strongest proposed rule for the GHG Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3 rule (HDV rule).

The HDV rule would accelerate the transition from large internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs).

The 75 mayors supporting the adoption of this rule including the mayors of Bethlehem, Conshohocken, Erie, Pittsburgh, and the boroughs of Hatboro and State College in Pennsylvania say they can see the potential to benefit of these regulations and are urge the Biden administration to finalize the rule.

“The City of Erie and its port have a rich history of trade and logistics, which play a pivotal role in transporting goods across the Northeast,” said Erie Mayor Joseph V. Schember. “My office and the City of Erie support the EPA's Proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule and believe electric trucking is the future of transportation. Our City of Erie neighborhoods are some of the most underserved and disproportionately affected communities in Erie County, Pennsylvania. That makes this project, which would help to reduce emissions and improve air quality, especially important for our community.”

“It’s important to do all we can to ensure the next generation is able to call Pittsburgh home,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. “That means safeguarding our environment through forward-thinking use of energy. We have already made great strides in electrification of City of Pittsburgh vehicles, with 88 electric vehicles already in our fleet and 78 electric vehicle chargers. The City of Pittsburgh continues to strive toward the future by supporting the EPA's Proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule and the benefits of heavy-duty electric transportation.”

The mayors’ letter follows another letter sent to the White House by over 80 corporate leaders in November, advocating for the same standard to be adopted.

The mayors’ letter does not address plans to bolster the inefficient electric grid or expand the charging infrastructure required to support the U.S. supply chain with electric trucks.

Today, a clean diesel truck can spend 15 minutes fueling anywhere in the country and then travel about 1,200 miles before fueling again. In contrast, today’s long-haul battery electric trucks have a range of about 150-330 miles and can take up to 10 hours to charge.

After one trucking company tried to electrify just 30 trucks at a terminal in Joliet, Illinois, local officials shut those plans down, saying they would draw more electricity than is needed to power the entire city.

A California company tried to electrify 12 forklifts. Not trucks, but forklifts. Local power utilities told them that's not possible.

Weight factors are another factor unaddressed by the mayors’ letter. Battery-electric trucks, which run on two approx. 8,000-lb. lithium-ion batteries, are far heavier than their clean-diesel counterparts. Since trucks are subject to strict federal weight limits, mandating battery-electric will decrease the payload of each truck, putting more trucks on the road and increasing both traffic congestion and tailpipe emissions.

Today’s clean diesel trucks produce 99% lower emissions than those from the 1980s. 60 trucks today emit what just a single truck emitted in 1988. However, a century-old 12% federal excise tax on heavy-duty vehicles disincentivizes fleets from updating their equipment with today's clean diesel tractors. 


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Phone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434

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