Watch Now

Multistate group to expedite truck decarbonization

IKEA, PepsiCo, DHL among 37 companies endorsing historic, coordinated effort

(Photo credit: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

  • Fifteen states will collaborate on efforts to limit pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from commercial trucks
  • Thirty-seven major companies and investors have endorsed the plan, among them DHL Express U.S, IKEA and PepsiCo.

On the heels of California’s clean truck rule, 15 states and the District of Columbia have signed a new agreement pledging  to work collectively to limit air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from commercial trucks. 

The signatories are California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont.

The effort, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), aims to accelerate deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It is the largest ever multistate action on clean transportation in the U.S.

Thirty-seven major companies and investors have endorsed the agreement, among them DHL Express U.S, IKEA and PepsiCo.

“Transportation impacts our business, our customers and our supply chain every day,” said Steven Moelk, fulfillment project implementation manager at IKEA Retail U.S., in a press release.

IKEA aims to have 100% of home deliveries made in zero-emission vehicles by 2025, Moelk said, and the MOU will help increase the availability of and access to medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, “which are essential to helping us achieve our goals.”

The plan

In a preview of the multistate agreement, Kathy Kinsey told FreightWaves last week that the collaboration will develop and implement a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) action plan for commercial trucks to support a market transition. 

Kinsey is the senior policy adviser for Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), a nonprofit facilitating the multistate effort. She said the group will focus on “market-enabling” initiatives including incentives and outreach to identify and address cost, fueling infrastructure and other barriers to electric truck adoption.

The clean truck solutions could also include regulatory measures, such as the Advanced Clean Truck rule, a California mandate approved in June that will require truck manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of electric vehicles starting in 2024.

Although the MOU is a collaborative one, each state will ultimately decide for itself how it wants to implement the plan, according to Kinsey.

Support from shippers

Earlier this month, the 37 businesses and investors sent a statement of support to the participating states’ governors. 

The letter highlighted the long-term cost savings and benefits that can be captured by shifting to zero emission commercial vehicles, as well as policy innovation as a necessary element to expedite the market transition. 

“With ever more urgency as businesses navigate a shifting economy and business model in the wake of COVID-19, we support the MOU and forthcoming rulemaking as a means to strengthen the clean transportation market, boost economic development, and improve public health,” the businesses wrote in the letter.

Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S., said in the release that DHL “understands the economic and health risks of climate change and transportation-related air pollution.” That is why the company has committed to operating 70% of our first and last mile services with zero-emission solutions globally by 2025, Hewitt said.

“Transportation and logistics companies are an important part of the solution, and policies that support the uptake of electric and zero emission vehicles present a significant opportunity for companies and participating states. We are proud to support these Governors on this important decision.”

Related stories:

What happens in California doesn’t stay in California

California regulators to fleets: Buy those electric trucks

Click here for more articles by Linda Baker.

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected].