Global Drive for Clean Trucks

Global Leaders Pledge to Fast-track Adoption of Clean Trucks

Sept. 14, 2018
The Pledge targets transit buses, shuttle buses, package and delivery trucks, urban “box” trucks, yard tractors, port handling equipment and regional Class 7/8 drayage trucks.

In order to accelerate the deployment of zero and near-zero emission commercial vehicles and technologies, last week governments and companies from around the globe signed on to a new program.

The “Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero” pledge is a coordinated, international effort – championed by CALSTART, a non-profit industry organization with more than 190-member companies – aimed at dramatically reducing emissions from trucks and buses in high-potential markets.

“By showing the demand for these vehicles, and focusing on the most viable markets, we can accelerate their adoption, improve air quality and reduce emissions,” said president and CEO of CALSTART, John Boesel. “Once we achieve commercial viability in these areas, we can work to reach economies of scale, bring costs down and increase adoption throughout the entire medium- and heavy-duty vehicle industry.”

The Pledge focuses on eight global market segments for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The goals are to achieve commercial success in each of these markets internationally by 2025, and have zero emission technology dominate new sales in these segments by 2040.

The transition would have significant benefits not only in terms of preventing the worst impacts of climate change, but also improving air quality and promoting public health in targeted countries, such as China, India and Mexico, where commercial vehicles represent a larger percentage of the total vehicle population and air pollution problem.

 “Our climate ambition is to reduce emissions with 95 % by 2030. The importance of setting ambitious visions should not be underestimated,” said the governing mayor of the City of Oslo, Norway, Raymond Johansen. “This is why I believe the work of CALSTART, and the Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Pledge launched today will be a game-changer. By working globally to achieve zero-emission dominance in commercial vehicle sales we can achieve what would not be possible by working in isolation. I am pleased to announce that Oslo joins that pledge.”

 Based on analytical work performed by CALSTART – the executive secretariat of the Pledge, the California Air Resources Board has adopted this targeted application approach, known as the “beachhead” strategy, to advance these technologies in California. The Pledge applies this strategy on a global scale, targeting transit buses, shuttle buses, package and delivery trucks, urban “box” trucks, yard tractors, port handling equipment and regional Class 7/8 drayage (cargo) trucks.

 “NYC has the largest municipal fleet in the United States with over 31,000 vehicles and 60% already operate on some type of alternative fuel including hybrids, plug-in electric, natural gas, biofuels and even solar,” states New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Deputy Commissioner and NYC Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman. “NYC operates over 1,700 plug in on-road vehicles now and is looking forward to expanding hybrid and electric operations in heavy and medium duty trucking. NYC stands ready to work with public and private fleet partners to advance and expedite this transformation and thanks CALSTART for convening this effort.”

 The new program will support the advancement of the beachhead markets by identifying barriers, sharing solutions and best practices and conducting analysis. Among the global beachhead markets targeted by the Pledge, transit buses are growing the fastest. There are more than 100,000 zero-emission transit buses now in operation around the world.

Signers and Supporters of the Pledge


City of New York
New York State Energy Research & Development Authority
California Air Resources Board
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Foothill Transit

Elected Officials

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Stockton Mayor Michael D. Tubbs
Oslo Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen


Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks
New Flyer Industries
Southern California Edison
Ballard Power Systems
Chanje Energy
Axle Tech
Orange EV
Mayor USA
Motiv Power Systems
US Hybrid
Lightning Systems
Auto Research Institute
XL Fleet
West Valley Construction
Zenith Motors
Unique Electrical Solutions

About the Author

Derric Brown

Derric Brown is vice president of sustainability for the Carton Council ( and director of sustainability for Evergreen Packaging.

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