Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles and Infrastructure Prioritized in Federal Surface Transportation Bill

PASADENA, CA, May 26, 2021 – Prioritizing investment in clean medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) and infrastructure is a clear road to American jobs, clean air, and economic growth. The bipartisan Surface Transportation Act of 2021 advances key CALSTART priorities in zero-emission MHDVs and infrastructure, representing the potential for bold leadership by the United States in advancing clean vehicles and goods movement. CALSTART applauds the unanimous action by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today in advancing this bill.

Legislative provisions championed by U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and included in the bill would make significant investments to address commercial vehicle emissions due to congestion and from goods movement by prioritizing investment in clean MHDV purchases and infrastructure. In addition, the underlying bill proposes a historic $303.5 billion investment in U.S. Department of Transportation programs to strengthen infrastructure and competitiveness, address the climate crisis, and provide for equitable transportation access and solutions.

“I’m proud to advance legislation that will accelerate the deployment of cleaner technologies in the transportation sector, “said Senator Padilla. “Transitioning fleets to zero-emission vehicles is an essential aspect of building equitable, sustainable infrastructure and is a smart investment in our communities, our environment, and our future.”

Under Senator Padilla’s leadership, the legislation now includes a direct focus on zero-emission and low-emission MHDV infrastructure buildout along freight corridors and MHDV purchases in the most polluted communities.

“The American clean truck industry is ready and poised for tremendous growth,” said Kyle Winslow, director of federal policy at CALSTART. “Supporting the transition to zero-emission commercial vehicles helps clean the air in frontline communities, creates opportunities for electrification of goods movement nationwide, and furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Jobs Plan.”

A coalition of CALSTART members continue to educate on and advocate for clean transportation investment and policies that provide clean air, climate action and opportunity in communities where freight vehicles typically operate.