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.
Report — Sep 13, 2023
Prioritizing Justice in New York State Climate Policy: Cleaner Air for Disadvantaged Communities?
This report, produced in partnership with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, examines air quality improvements in two options for implementing New York State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
On the Issues — Sep 8, 2023
On the Issues: US Mining, Methane Leaks, and More
A biweekly newsletter connecting global current events, pressing climate and energy policy news, and economics research from RFF scholars. This week: US mining, methane leaks, and more.
Common Resources — Aug 30, 2023
Critical Minerals: Insights from a Recent Workshop
Insights for how the United States can approach secure and affordable access to the critical minerals that are needed for electric vehicle production, from a recent workshop held at Resources for the Future.