trucking

trucking

Image from Tesla

Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

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Photo by David Shultz

When experts talk about the future of the energy economy, technologies are often described as winners or losers.

“Solar will beat nuclear.”

“Lithium iron phosphate will dominate lithium nickel manganese cobalt.”

“Geothermal is a better bet than tidal.”

Nowhere is this contest more pronounced than in the long-range trucking industry where hydrogen is battling for supremacy against battery electric.

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