American Jobs Plan Investments Can Drive A Clean Transportation Future

It is looking like there will be a 2021 Infrastructure Week and it could include needed and significant investment to secure a net-zero emissions future in the U.S. transportation sector.

The American Job Plan, proposed by the White House earlier this week, includes unprecedented investment in the manufacture, charging and refueling, and purchase of zero-emission or electric vehicles (EVs). If passed, it will help the U.S. transportation sector leap forward in global leadership in clean technologies and decarbonization.

The plan includes proposed investments across CALSTART members’ critical interests: zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), including transit and school buses, EV infrastructure, and critical zero-emission vehicle supply chain and manufacturing including component technologies like batteries. It also calls for $15 billion in innovative demonstration projects for electric vehicles, energy storage, and hydrogen technologies. These are the key areas that CALSTART and its members advocate for and are actively engaged in.

Importantly, the American Jobs Plan also provides a pathway for the creation of a new federal zero-emission truck (ZET) point-of-sale purchase incentive by calling for consumer point-of-sale rebates and tax incentives for the purchase of American-made EVs.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, electric delivery vans and trucks have been a growing segment and they will play an increasing role in local, state, and national economic recovery because of unique benefits in local-, regional-, and long-haul freight movement segments. The growth of this sector can be the bedrock for dramatic growth in advanced clean transportation manufacturing and freight commerce jobs of the future. Investment in this sector also has the potential for enormous return on investment because it not only boosts this important industry and the economy, but also helps to clean our air and address climate change.

While the American Jobs Plan calls for $174 billion in EV investment, and lays the groundwork for new EV point-of-sale purchase incentives, there are few details about how this new program will structure incentives to help fleets buy advanced, clean trucks and buses. That is why the CALSTART-organized National Zero-Emission Truck Coalition is calling on the Biden Administration to make ZET point-of-sale purchase incentives for fleets of all sizes, particularly smaller fleets, an integral part of the proposed Plan.

The Coalition calls for a new federal 10-year ZET point-of-sale incentive. If created, this incentive is projected to support the deployment of over 478,000 clean trucks and buses deployed nationwide, avoid emissions equivalent to taking 5.4 million cars off the road, and support 55,000 direct and indirect jobs over the incentive’s lifetime.

A point-of-sale incentive is accessible to and monetizable by fleets of all sizes, particularly small fleets and entities without significant tax liability. Compared with an investment tax credit that is not made available at the point-of-sale, the Coalition anticipates that in first five years of the point-of-sale incentive, it would:

  • Put over 33,000 more ZETs on U.S. roads
  • Reduce about 590,000 more tons of CO2, 4,100 more tons of NOX, and 25 more tons of PM2.5 emissions, potentially accelerating the benefits provided by these advanced trucks in disadvantaged and underserved communities where they often operate
  • Create and retain over 1,700 more U.S. manufacturing and ZET supply chain jobs

Put simply, a point-of-sale incentive is the more effective way to drive ZET purchases and get public benefits from this investment over the first five years of the incentive than an equal incentive that does not have the direct pay component. The American Jobs Plan should provide access to a ZET point-of-sale incentive for fleets of all sizes, providing parity in federal EV purchase incentives among clean vehicles of all sizes.

CALSTART and the Coalition are actively engaging with the Administration and Congress to ensure inclusion of point-of-sale incentives for ZETs and to support the additional elements of the American Jobs Plan that advance clean transportation technologies. If you are interested in joining this effort or would like more information, please contact our Director of Membership Services, Kimberly Taylor – [email protected].