NATIONAL (CBS) — Electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular in the U.S. Now, there is a push to get green trucks on the road.
Jeremiah Glover is on the road again, but you won’t hear the engine roar in his new truck. Glover is driving a rig that runs on hydrogen-powered fuel cells with zero harmful emissions. “The quietness of it, you don’t hear nothing besides the e-motors running. It’s totally different, but a difference for the good, in my opinion,” he says.
Glover works for Total Transportation Services (TTSI) in Los Angeles. Tony Williamson is the Director of Sustainability and Compliance. “We will be a zero-emission company. It’s just a matter of time,” Williamson says.
The company is testing not only hydrogen fuel cells, but also battery powered electric vehicles.
But Williamson says going green comes with challenges. Right now, the trucks are used for short runs because electric vehicles only get around 250 miles on a charge. Fuel cells can go further, but hydrogen isn’t readily available outside of LA. Then, there is the cost. “Conventional diesels come in with tax, license about $145,000 to $150,000. So, these trucks are more like $400,000 to $500,000,” says Williamson.
TTSI hauls goods from Los Angeles area ports, which recently announced that only zero emissions trucks will be allowed starting in 2035. “We have to roll up our sleeves. There is a lot of work, a lot of money that needs to be had, but we’ve laid the roadmap,” says Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach Mario Cordero.
Several other ports across the country are pushing for carbon neutrality in the coming decades. Williamson believes it can be achieved. “As the companies begin to accept this technology, then that’s gonna drive the prices down on everything, infrastructure, truck costs, insurance, because you have more of them out there,” he says.
If the current testing of eco-friendly trucks goes well, TTSI could buy around a hundred vehicles this year and many more down the road.