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ATRI tallies environmental impact of zero-emission trucks

From Transport Topics.

The overall life cycle of Class 8 zero-emission trucks would result in a net decrease in carbon dioxide emissions of just 30% compared with internal combustion engines despite the trucks having no direct tailpipe emissions, according to a just-released study by the American Transportation Research Institute.

The report, titled “Understanding the CO2 Impacts of Zero-Emission Trucks,” determined that CO2 emissions generated during the production of electricity and hydrogen — both of which are used to power zero-emission trucks — along with production and disposal of the electric storage equipment, lithium-ion batteries and the vehicles themselves all contribute to their overall emissions impact. The report’s key finding is that zero-emission trucks still generate significant overall life cycle CO2 emissions, and will continue to produce CO2 emissions in the coming decades.

“The core motivations for a shift to ZETs remain environmental, and it may be possible to decrease the trucking industry’s emissions through their deployment — although the scale of environmental benefit is unclear,” the report stated. “This research provides industry, government and other stakeholders with a technical environmental impact assessment of switching to ZETs, as well as a glimpse at the advancements that may be needed to further decrease industry emissions.”

The report lands as “a movement toward zero-emission vehicles has strengthened in recent years, particularly through state-level environmental goals and regulations,” ATRI noted.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.