From Diesel to Electric: Overcoming Grid Integration Challenges in the Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Sector
This study explores the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles into the electric grid.
Decarbonizing the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (MHDV) sector is crucial for a sustainable clean energy transition. This paper focuses on the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles (MHD EVs) into the electric grid. With large trucks and buses being responsible for a significant share of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, the need to address their environmental impact is paramount. Electrifying these vehicles has gained momentum as a technological solution given the environmental and economic benefits of MHD EV adoption, the readiness of the vehicle technology, and the existing range allowing for successful commercial operation of most use cases. From the most local to the federal levels of government, policymakers have injected billions of dollars into making this transition a reality; but the question remains—will it be enough? This paper explores the massive grid investments still remaining that are required to support the transition to electric MHDVs, along with technological solutions and policies that can help keep these costs down while accelerating vehicle adoption and improving environmental outcomes. By carefully designing policies based on sound research and analyses, an equitable, efficient, and cost-effective transition to MHDV electrification can be achieved. The paper concludes by highlighting open research questions that can guide further advancements in this field. This work aims to inform policymakers, industry stakeholders, and researchers involved in the pursuit of a sustainable transportation sector.
Fellow; Director, Transportation Program
Beia Spiller is a fellow and the director for RFF's Transportation Program. Her recent research has focused around electric vehicles and environmental justice, exploring some of the most pressing issues around electric car, truck and bus adoption.
RFF Live — Mar 12, 2024
Digging Deep: Critical Minerals, Electric Vehicles, and the Role of Innovation
An RFF Live event exploring critical mineral markets, increased electric vehicle demand, and technological innovation
On the Issues — Jan 19, 2024
On the Issues: New Magazine, City-Splitting Highways, and More
A biweekly newsletter connecting global current events, pressing climate and energy policy news, and economics research from RFF scholars. This week: US emissions trends, city-splitting highways, and more.
Common Resources — Jan 17, 2024
A Tale of Two Highway Plans
A planned renovation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York City raises the opportunity to consider community input and environmental justice when implementing the major infrastructure project.