Assessing Drayage Fleet Operator Attitudes and Practices Towards Purchasing Alternative Fuels Vehicles

Research Team: Stephen G. Ritchie (lead), Craig R. Rindt, and Youngeun Bae

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: Medium and heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), especially diesel trucks, account for approximately 21% of California’s transportation greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions in addition to producing criteria air pollutants (i.e., lead, carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter) which harm human health. Accordingly, Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20 established aggressive goals to convert all HDV fleets to zero-emission by 2045, and all drayage trucks by 2035. California’s HDV goals call for increasing annual sales of zero-emission HDVs through the Advanced Clean Trucks program, the fleet-specific regulations of the Advanced Clean Fleets program, and various future incentive programs. However, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) currently represent only a marginal share in the California HDV sector (2.8% in 2019).

Project Description: This project will explore how to increase demand for alternative fuel vehicles among drayage truck fleets which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines as “generally diesel-fueled, heavy-duty (Class 8) trucks that transport containers and bulk freight between the port and intermodal rail facilities, distribution centers, and other near-port locations.” The project will survey and analyze drayage fleet operator attitudes and practices towards purchasing alternative fuels vehicles. The survey will address the following elements: (i) fleet characteristics; (ii) decision-making processes of alternative fuel adoption; (iii) factors that have influenced heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicle adoption/rejection decisions; (iv) satisfaction with purchased AFVs; (v) further purchases, and recommendations; (vi) stated preference choice questions regarding future AFV purchasing; and (vii) fleet refueling/charging practices.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $116,724