BYD North America President Stella Li joined 10 other executives in the U.S. commercial industry in calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to commit to a multi-year investment strategy that accelerates the adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
In their letter to Newsom, the executives say California has not kept up with the demand for zero-emission vehicles, noting that the 2019 vouchers for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles (M-HDV) and off-road equipment ran out mid-year and the vouchers for 2020 are already reserved.
Meeting the demand for such vehicles requires at least $2.9 billion over the next five years, the letter notes. That funding level would put nearly 25,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025 and enable 5,000 vouchers for zero-emission freight and goods movement equipment.
“We write to urge you to cement your commitment to the cleanest transportation future possible and to the investments that will benefit all Californians,” the letter said. “An aggressive strategy will spur new manufacturing and jobs, improve public health, and take California’s longstanding climate legacy to the next level.”
Li and the other executives are asking for a minimum allocation of 13.5% of the total Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for fiscal years 2020-2021 and through 2025-2026 for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment.
“To date, we observe that the state’s GHG reduction commitments have not been backed up with a commitment to the type of consistent, reliable funding needed to transform the complex commercial vehicle sector,” the letter said. “Now is a critical time to maintain and increase the pace of investment.”
The federal government does not provide incentive funding for zero-emission trucks. As a result, most zero-emission trucks are being deployed in California. BYD has deployed over 100 zero-emission heavy-duty trucks, mostly in California.
Other executives signing the letter include CEOs from California companies building electric trucks, buses, and powertrains, as well as global manufacturers.