Decarbonizing a fleet can feel daunting, but on a recent warm day in Fresno, California, more than 500 attendees were welcomed into the world of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). CALSTART and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) hosted over 30 OEMs at the Zero-Emission Truck and Offroad Vehicle Showcase and Ride + Drive event on June 21, 2023. Drivers were connected with industry professionals to kickstart their ZEV journey and had the opportunity to test out the latest ZEV technology.
“In California, commercial vehicles make up a small percentage of all road vehicles but produce a large proportion of all the toxins in the air,” said CALSTART’s Chief Operating Officer David Chow. “California has already produced the mandate to convert all commercial vehicles to EVs by 2035, which will be a game changer for everyone’s health. We simply need your help changing things quicker.”
CALSTART and CARB are hosting Ride + Drive events across California to get trucking fleets and independent owner-operators behind the wheel of the latest trucks and equipment, ultimately encouraging cleaner transportation for cleaner air.
The events connect individuals to agencies and resources that can help advance their zero-emission journey. The Fresno event showcased more than 50 zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including delivery vans and yard trucks, as well as refrigerated trailers, agriculture and construction equipment, charging equipment, and more. The first step in transitioning to a zero-emission future in transportation is exposing drivers to the real—and impressive—technology behind ZEVs.
At the event, the parking lot was coned off in a racetrack format. Drivers test drove what could be their next electric- or hydrogen-powered vehicle. Tractors, forklifts, and other construction and agriculture equipment were also available for off-road equipment operators. Attendees were also given the opportunity to learn about additional resources, such as innovative charging solutions, at the Zero-Emission Resource Fair. One mobile charging solution provided energy to the event’s main stage and video wall for the duration of the day.
Additionally, CALSTART and CARB launched a new program at the event: Cal Fleet Advisor (CFA). The program is designed to meet operations wherever they are in the zero-emission transition and bring them to the finish line.
“As a past fleet owner myself, I am very committed to making sure my community and small businesses benefit from both zero-emission trucks and the incentives and grants available,” said Niki Okuk, Deputy Director at CALSTART. “Cal Fleet Advisor was born to make it easier for small- and mid-sized fleets to transition to clean technology that benefits the health of their drivers and their communities—while taking advantage of the impressive fuel and maintenance savings!”
CFA provides tailored guidance and expert support to California trucking fleets and independent owner-operators at no cost. Gone are the days of navigating vehicle and refueling decisions alone. By working together, fleets are able to manage their day-to-day operations while Cal Fleet Advisor ZEV experts handle OEM communications, compliance, and grant and incentive deadlines. Even before CFA officially opened, more than 150 fleets had signed up to speak with these experts to help get electrification right.
Ride + Drive events and Cal Fleet Advisor are just two resources from CALSTART, whose mission is to knock down barriers to innovation and progress, driving the transportation industry to a clean and prosperous future.
“Zero-emission everywhere starts here,” rallied Valerie Thorsen, Deputy Director of the San Joaquin Valley Regional Office. “The transformative power of clean transportation technology isn’t something for the distant future. It is a reality today.”
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