Exploring Infrastructure Needs to Support the Transition to Zero-Emission Trucks in the San Joaquin Valley

Research Team: Miguel Jaller (lead), Maria Catalina Valencia, and Juan Lopez

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: California, a major hub for heavy-duty truck operations on the West Coast, faces challenges due to the negative impacts of these truck operations on vulnerable communities. In response, California has enacted the Advanced Clean Truck and Fleet Rules, which mandate zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales for manufacturers and require transitioning suitable fleets to ZEVs with phase-in requirements and manufacturer mandates. To effectively reduce emissions, companies must adopt ZEV trucks. However, obstacles remain, especially for small and medium-sized companies. Hurdles include high costs, limited vehicle range, reduced payload due to large batteries, and inadequate charging infrastructure. Access to freight data is vital for assessing ZEV viability and planning essential infrastructure as these rules take effect. While there’s a general consensus about opportunities in the short-haul sector, long-haul solutions require further study and exploration.

Project Description: This project will establish a method to assess the impact of infrastructure requirements during the transition to battery electric trucks in California's San Joaquin Valley following the implementation of the Advanced Clean Truck and Fleet Rules. The researchers will create a cargo simulator using synthesized market data and evaluate vehicle routing from sampled fleets through the California Vehicle and Inventory Use Survey. This routing model will help identify opportunities for electric trucks and trade-offs regarding vehicle capabilities and charging infrastructure. The project will identify crucial charging locations, estimate their impact, and focus on small and medium fleets' sustainable transitions, minimizing economic and labor effects. It will also design scenarios and sensitivity analyses to gauge the effects of charging station penetration and demand rate variations. The analyses will quantify electrification benefits, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $100,000