3 ways to electrify trucks in the wake of EPA’s climate rule

By Francisco "A.J." Camacho | 04/02/2024 06:22 AM EDT

These experiments could help reduce carbon pollution from cargo trucks.

From left to right, a truck powered by overhead cables drives on the eHighway near Lübeck, Germany, construction of a wireless charging road in Tel Aviv, Israel and a Mitsubishi eCanter truck in an Ample battery swapping station

Overhead cable lines, wireless charging roads and battery swapping are three exploratory technologies to boost electrification of the trucking industry. Siemens, Electreon, Mitsubishi

A climate rule for cargo trucks released by the Biden administration last week has put new pressure on makers of big rigs to cut their carbon pollution.

The industry might take cues from experiments that electrify semitrucks with overhead cables or wireless charging roads, or by swapping batteries at highway pit stops.

The EPA rule is expected to make about 17 percent of the biggest class of trucks in the U.S. carbon-free within eight years — a big test for vehicles that travel long distances with heavy loads.


“Electrifying trucks poses a much bigger challenge than replacing an internal combustion engine car with an electric car,” said Arjun Thangaraj Ramshankar, a Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has studied the viability of using overhead cables for trucking.