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EGLE grant paves way for electric semi truck
April 20, 2022
CMAC Transportation's newest big rig won't fire up with the smell of burning diesel or a stream of engine exhaust. Instead, the metro Detroit trucking company is taking delivery of an all-electric, zero-emissions semi-tractor, with the help of a Fuel Transformation Program (FTP) grant through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
The Kenworth T680E will be the first electric Class 8 heavy duty truck in Michigan to hit the road through an FTP grant. CMAC expects to take delivery of the vehicle in August.
"This is an exciting milestone on Michigan's pathway into a future of innovation, cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions," said FTP Coordinator Debra Swartz, fuel transformation specialist in EGLE's Materials Management Division.
The FTP allocates $30 million over about three years to help replace qualifying diesel engines, vehicles, vessels, and equipment with new, cleaner versions that have low to no emissions. The program emphasizes areas where air quality is a particular concern: designated nonattainment and maintenance areas for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, urban counties, high asthma burden areas, and Environmental Justice Areas.
CMAC - a transportation, logistics, and warehousing provider based in Brownstown Township, just southwest of Detroit - will use the truck to haul auto parts within Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, all of which are priority areas.
"We really felt that this partnership with the state, DTE Energy and Kenworth made sense for us in more ways than one," said Scott Christie, CMAC president and partner. "We are continuously pushing the bar as far as technology in our organization, so we believe we are well prepared to move down this road with our partners involved. Servicing the automotive companies has given us a firsthand look at the progress and movement in the electric arena, and we are excited to lead the charge in the Class 8 space."
In accordance with the grant, CMAC will scrap the diesel truck that is being replaced, maximizing the impact of the emissions offset. The replacement is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by nearly one metric ton and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) by nearly 597 metric tons over the expected vehicle lifespan.
The FTP is awarding grants in three parts. Part 1 involves three rounds of grants for public or private freight and port trucks, and shuttle and transit buses. The first round of grants supported all-electric, propane, and clean diesel vehicles. Rounds 2 and 3 are for electric vehicles only, and Round 3 grant agreements are expected to be signed within a few months. All told, about 18 awardees are in the three rounds. Grants cover anywhere from 25% to 70% of the vehicle cost, depending on factors including the type of fuel. CMAC received 50% toward the $440,500 cost of the truck and charger.
Part 2 of the program is open to freight switchers, ferry boats, tugs, and shore power. Part 3, targeted to open in 2023, will cover airport ground support equipment, port cargo handling equipment, and forklifts.
Funding comes through Michigan's $64.8 million allocation from a federal settlement with Volkswagen over emissions testing defeat devices that led to violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
Earlier FTP grants awarded $12.9 million to help schools statewide replace more than 300 traditional diesel buses with clean diesel, propane, and electric buses and charging stations.
The program supports Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's climate change mitigation goals.
Caption: Kenworth T680 electric semi truck