Press Release: Report, Task Force Calls for Heavy Duty Incentives to Grow American Advanced Truck Industry

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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For Release:                       Press Contact: Mary Kathryn Campbell
January 26, 2011                 mkcampbell@calstart.org     626/744-5602

REPORT, TASK FORCE CALLS FOR HEAVY DUTY INCENTIVES
TO GROW AMERICAN ADVANCED TRUCK INDUSTRY

New report – “Speeding High-Efficiency Truck Adoption” – identifies smart policies and performance-based incentives to speed fuel and emission reduction and grow American jobs

Pasadena, Calif. – Today a blue-ribbon Task Force of more than forty truck industry leaders from fleets, the manufacturing sector and suppliers called for performance-based incentives and policies to accelerate American leadership in the global advanced truck market.  Their recommendations are part of a report released today by CALSTART, “Speeding High-Efficiency Truck Adoption.”   The top measures called for include:

•   A voucher purchase program for high efficiency heavy-duty (HEHD) trucks that rewards technologies that provide multiple benefits
•   Expanded R&D funding targeted at efficient truck technologies
•   Grants to support expanded domestic manufacturing of advanced trucks and components

CALSTART convened the Task Force to identify key user and industry needs and help develop the recommendations contained in the report.  The critical supporting policies and incentives are designed to ensure that new truck fuel economy and carbon emission regulations proposed by the federal government – and the benefits from those regulations – have the best chance of transforming the trucking sector.  Task Force members support the new regulations, but felt the regulations alone were not sufficient. 

“High efficiency trucks are a win-win not only for the people that produce and use these trucks, but for our nation overall. Ultimately, the truck industry and fleets want to see a transition toward more efficient trucks, but to get there they need support from a comprehensive policy package that includes both carrots and sticks,” said CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel.

The Task Force cites upfront technology cost as the largest barrier to faster adoption of more efficient technology and identified several strategies to improve the economics and speed the transition to more efficient trucks.  Primary among the recommendations is an innovative incentive structure for accelerating clean truck purchases. The Task Force calls for a novel “next generation” voucher incentive program that is performance-based, with greater funding going to solutions that provide greater overall benefits.  The idea is that the incentive levels should partially reward users for the multiple benefits provided by different advanced technologies, including air quality improvement, petroleum reduction, and climate change benefits. This is a departure from most existing incentive programs, which either target specific technologies or focus on just one policy goal, such as reductions in smog forming emissions.

The CALSTART report also highlights a need for substantial Research and Development (R&D) funding for advanced truck technologies. Fleets, manufacturers, and suppliers in the Task Force all identified ongoing R&D funding as a key industry need, particularly in the medium- to long- term.

Finally, the report recommends manufacturing grants as a key way to support the domestic manufacturing of advanced trucks and truck technologies. Passenger car manufacturers have access to this sort of support through the federal Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing Incentive Program. The report recommends expanding this program to include medium- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing. CALSTART and the Task Force members believe this would support the growth of the domestic high efficiency truck industry while reducing costs and supporting the transition to cleaner trucks.

Click here to read comments from Task Force members.

Funding for the report, “Speeding High-Efficiency Truck Adoption: Recommended Policies, Incentives and Investments,” was provided by the Energy Foundation.  A downloadable copy is available at http://www.calstart.org/Libraries/Publications/Speeding_High-Efficiency_Truck_Adoption.sflb.ashx

A full list of Task Force members is part of the report.

About CALSTART

CALSTART is the only organization working nationally to foster the rapid growth of the entire clean transportation technology industry.  Building on its strong base of knowledge and operations in California, CALSTART serves as a catalyst for the comprehensive clean transportation industry as a way to create more jobs, clean the air, make the country more secure, and reduce the threat of global warming.  CALSTART manages leading edge technology programs while providing value-added services to its 130 member companies and consulting clients. For more information visit:  www.calstart.org.

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