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At NCDEQ meeting, speakers raise concerns about shift to electric trucks

President Biden checks out an electric truck as he tours a Mack Trucks plant last week in Macungie, Pa.
Saul Loeb
/
AFP via Getty Images
President Biden checks out an electric truck as he tours a Mack Trucks plant in Macungie, Pa.

People who operate truck fleets will be on the front lines if North Carolina adopts rules this year to get more electric trucks and buses on state roads. In Charlotte on Friday, state environmental officials heard some of their concerns.

About a dozen people were at the meeting, representing private trucking companies, local governments, environmental groups and a vehicle charging network. It was the first in a series of public input sessions on the proposed Advanced Clean Trucks rules, which would require makers of medium-sized and large trucks to sell an increasing number of electric vehicles in the coming years.

Getting dirty trucks off the road is key to meeting the state's climate goals, but people who sell or operate trucks and buses have questions, much like those about electric cars.

Ingram Gillam is with a food distributor in Hickory and says the initial costs and the range will be the biggest hurdles.

“I think current trucks go 100 miles, something like that, if they're fully loaded, which, you know, (a) food truck's gonna be fully loaded. And so coordinating that with the DOT rules and trying to get across the state of North Carolina, it presents quite a few challenges.”

Other speakers worried about the availability of chargers and whether the state's electric grid can handle all the new electric trucks called for in the rules.

More in-person and online meetings are planned this month. The state hopes to adopt the rules this year and they would take effect with the 2027 model year.

People who operate truck fleets will be on the front lines if North Carolina adopts rules this year to get more electric trucks and buses on state roads. In Charlotte on Friday, state environmental officials heard some of their concerns.

About a dozen people were at the meeting, representing private trucking companies, local governments, environmental groups and a vehicle charging network. It was the first in a series of public input sessions on the proposed Advanced Clean Trucks rules, which would require makers of medium-sized and large trucks to sell an increasing number of electric vehicles in the coming years.

Getting dirty trucks off the road is key to meeting the state's climate goals, but people who sell or operate trucks and buses have questions, much like those about electric cars.

Ingram Gillam is with a food distributor in Hickory and says the initial costs and the range will be the biggest hurdles.

“I think current trucks go 100 miles, something like that, if they're fully loaded, which, you know, (a) food truck's gonna be fully loaded. And so coordinating that with the DOT rules and trying to get across the state of North Carolina, it presents quite a few challenges.”

Other speakers worried about the availability of chargers and whether the state's electric grid can handle all the new electric trucks called for in the rules.

More in-person and online meetings are planned this month. The state hopes to adopt the rules this year and they would take effect with the 2027 model year.