New Study Finds Rapidly Falling Costs of Zero-Emission Freight Trucks and Buses


(Washington, DC – February 10, 2022) By 2027, electric freight trucks and buses will become cheaper to buy and operate than their combustion engine counterparts, according to a new study by Roush Industries for Environmental Defense Fund.

the detailed study was released today. It assesses both the initial and ongoing costs of electrifying several types of medium and heavy vehicles commonly used in urban areas, including transit buses, school buses, garbage trucks, shuttles and delivery trucks.

The study finds that, looking only at initial purchase price, by 2027, electric freight trucks and buses will be cheaper than their combustion engine counterparts in all categories, at exception of the shuttles (which are close to price parity). Electric vehicles will also be cheaper on a total cost of ownership basis in all categories in the same time frame.

“Pollution from freight trucks and buses is dangerous to people’s health and accelerating climate change,” said Peter Zalzal, EDF’s associate vice president for Clean Air Strategies. “This study reveals that zero-emissions solutions are available and can help save truckers and fleets money, and it adds to the extensive body of evidence documenting the feasibility of deploying zero-emissions solutions – including actions of states across the country and major fleets. It also helps underscore the urgent opportunity the EPA has in its upcoming proposed heavy-duty vehicle standards to ensure meaningful deployment of freight trucks and buses at zero emissions that save lives.

Freight trucks and buses make up less than 10% of vehicles on US roads, but they’re responsible for nearly a quarter of all climate pollution from the transportation sector. They also emit more than half of the transport sector’s NOx and particulate emissions that cause serious heart and lung disease. The EPA is expected to soon propose pollution standards for model year 2027 through at least 2030 for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, and President Biden has asked the EPA to examine the role that zero-emission vehicles can play in the elimination of harmful pollution.

The Roush study develops projections for the incremental costs and total cost of ownership of electric vehicles in the years 2027 to 2030. It compares these costs to equivalent internal combustion vehicles that meet EPA Greenhouse Gas Phase 1 and 2 rules, as well as California Low NOx regulations.

The study determines the total cost of ownership for all financial aspects of ownership, including the cost of purchasing an internal combustion engine vehicle or an electric freight truck or bus, the costs fuel or energy costs, recharging or refueling infrastructure costs, maintenance costs and the vehicle halfway through. life refresh where appropriate. It focuses exclusively on the direct financial costs and savings of owning a vehicle and does not include the substantial health and well-being benefits associated with switching to electric trucks.

The study finds that the general trend across all categories is for lower upfront costs for electric freight trucks and buses, primarily due to sharply lower battery costs. It also finds that by 2027 the costs of electric vehicles will be lower than the costs of internal combustion vehicles over the life of the vehicle, largely because maintenance and energy costs will be lower, and finds that the cost savings will be more than enough to overcome any additional cost. charging infrastructure and will achieve cost parity immediately or very quickly.

The study concludes that “in all cases, there is an incremental cost scenario that favors electrification”.

You can read the full study here, read the report fact sheet hereand consult the EDF technical sheet Clean Trucks, Clean Air American jobs here.


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