Grants and Funding File Folders - Zero-Emission Truck Grant from FHWA

Zero-Emission Truck Push at Ports with $150M Grant from FHWA

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has recently announced a significant investment aimed at enhancing air quality around major ports in the United States. A total of $148 million in grants is being allocated to 11 states and Puerto Rico. This funding marks the first installment of a broader $400 million initiative under the Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Grant Program for Zero-Emission Truck efforts. The program is a key component of the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and focuses on port electrification and efficiency enhancements to curb pollution from idling trucks at America’s ports.

Objectives and Impact of the Grant

The new grant program seeks to address the environmental impact of truck emissions in areas surrounding ports, which often disproportionately suffer from poor air quality. “When truckers spend hours idling at ports, it’s bad for drivers, bad for supply chains, and bad for nearby communities that feel the brunt of more polluted air,” explained U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The initiative not only aims to modernize infrastructure and strengthen supply chains but also intends to make the air more breathable for port workers and local communities.

Key Projects and Technologies

The FHWA has funded 16 projects through this grant, focusing on a variety of technological and infrastructural improvements:

  • Replacement of diesel-powered trucks with zero or low-emissions electric or alternative fuel-powered trucks.
  • Construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Implementation of port roadway access improvements.
  • Studies and technology enhancements to further reduce emissions from trucks.

For instance, significant funding is going to states like California, Texas, and Georgia:

  • California receives $49.7 million to replace traditional trucks and shuttle buses with electric alternatives at the Ports of Long Beach, Oakland, and Los Angeles.
  • Texas is allocated $26.9 million for the Port of Houston, focusing on acquiring zero-emission truck for short-haul and portable electric chargers.
  • Georgia benefits from a $15.3 million grant aimed at constructing a large-scale charging project near the Port of Savannah and replacing diesel-powered trucks with greener alternatives.

Spotlight on Port Houston’s Clean Truck Program

A standout project under this initiative is Port Houston’s new Clean Truck Program, which received a $26.9 million grant. This program, dubbed CLEANSTACS (Catalyzing Lower Emissions with Alliances and New Systems in Trucking and Community Sustainability), is designed to make zero-emission truck technology more accessible and affordable, particularly for small trucking fleet owners.

Port Houston Chairman Ric Campo highlighted the program’s benefits, noting, “This project represents an ambitious program for Port Houston, and another step toward cleaner air quality for the region, and achieving our 2050 carbon neutral goal.” The grant will subsidize the replacement of existing drayage trucks with new zero-emission trucks, which are significantly costlier but much greener. The program also includes installing automated terminal operating systems to help reduce truck idling times and a workforce training component in collaboration with a local community college to develop mechanics training courses for zero-emission truck fleets.

Looking Ahead

These initiatives reflect a strong commitment by the U.S. government to combat climate change and improve air quality around port areas. By investing in green technologies and infrastructure improvements, the projects funded under the FHWA’s new grant program are set to make a tangible difference in reducing emissions and enhancing the quality of life for those working at or living near ports. This strategic move not only benefits the environment but also supports the economic health of the shipping industry, ensuring a sustainable future for freight transportation in the United States.

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