Investigating Challenges and Solutions in Transitioning California to Zero-Emission Off-Road Vehicles

Research Lead: Scott Hardman

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: In 2019, emissions from off-road vehicles–which include agriculture and construction vehicles, forklifts, airport ground vehicles, and others–surpassed on-road vehicles as the leading source of NOx emissions in California. These emissions, which come from approximately 190,000 vehicles, negatively impacts populations in areas where the equipment is used. To address this, California set a goal to achieve 100% zero emission off-highway vehicles by 2035. However, little is known about the barriers and challenges that lie ahead in achieving this goal.

Project Description: This research aims to understand barriers and solutions to the implementation of zero-emission off-highway vehicles in California. The researchers will investigate which vehicles are suitable for electrification, how to address infrastructure and charging needs (in fixed and temporary locations), how electrification may impact operations, and how other regions are solving these challenges. The project will include interviews with vehicle and equipment owners/operators, manufacturers, suppliers, policymakers, public agencies, utilities, and other key organizations identified in the course of the research. The interviews will reveal barriers to zero-emission equipment, vehicle, and infrastructure implementation; current and expected solutions; and provide case study examples of how other regions are successfully implementing zero emission off-road vehicles and equipment.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $99,972