The advancement of clean transportation technologies is exploding within commercial fleets. Nowhere this year has this been more visible than at 2022 Advanced Clean Transportation Showwho took over the Long Beach Convention Center for a week.
As diesel prices continue to set price records across the United States, more than 75 advanced clean technology vehicles were on display among more than 250 exhibits. This drew thousands of fleet managers, suppliers and others to the expo, which included three days of exhibit hall access among dozens of panels and presentations on the future of transportation.
The show topped 8,500 attendees, 60% more than the 2021 show last August, according to expo organizers Gladstein, Neandross & Associates. Those who made the trip to Southern California last week got to see what traditional OEMs, startups and other vendors are working on as the industry steps up its zero-emissions efforts this decade. Much of this progress and how fleets are beginning to adopt it was detailed in GNA’s annual State of Sustainable Fleets report which was released on the opening day of the expo.
Long-standing commercial vehicle manufacturers, such as Daimler Truck North America and Volvo Trucks North America, used ACT Expo to celebrate their progress in transforming well-known diesel-powered nameplates into battery-electric trucks. DTNA’s eCascadia is now in series production. And VTNA announced more large fleet orders for its VNR Electric.
Best known for its school buses, many of which are now offered as zero-emission vehicles, Blue Bird introduced a new medium-duty electric vehicle chassis for the commercial vehicle market. New OEMs focused on electric vehicles, such as Xos Truckstook advantage of the week-long event to launch two new electric trucks: the Class 8 Xos HDXT and the Class 6-7 MDXT.
North American manufacturer of electric vehicles Zeus Electric Chassis announced at ACT Expo that it is entering the Australian work truck market with its purpose-built Class 4-6 electric truck.
As the availability of BEVs increases in the fleet world, there are concerns about how to charge all those truck batteries, which OEM executives have been discussing with Fleet owner and during the panels.
Focus on light load, Shell North America charging solutions and Penske Truck Rental (No. 17 on the Fleet owner 500: For-Hire list) unveiled plans to implement Tier 2 charging infrastructure at 33 Penske locations in six states. For the heavy load market, WattEV announced plans to build a large charging station at the Port of Long Beach and detailed plans to offer electric trucks as a service in California.
DTNA also touted its partnership with NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock Renewable Energy create a national charging network for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks. They plan to build a network of charging sites on critical freight routes along the East Coast and West Coast and into Texas by 2026.
During his keynote speech at the ACT Expo, Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger explained how the electric trucking company is leaning into clean technology. He used his time on stage to announce that Cummins and DTNA’s Freighliner are teaming up on a hydrogen fuel cell tractor that will see Cummins’ fourth-generation hydrogen fuel cell technology integrated into a Freightliner Cascadia chassis.
Cummins also unveiled a new 15-liter natural gas engine, a near-zero emissions X15N, the result of a collaboration with the California Partnership for Natural Gas Vehicles. Hexagon Composites also unveiled new cryogenic tank technology for liquid storage of renewable natural gas and hydrogen, while touting its energy-independent approach to transportation.