ACT Expo 2024 kicks off

ACT Expo 2024 kicks off

Day one keynote speeches came from executives at Volvo, Tesla, and more.

This week, one of trucking’s biggest events kicks off, as the sustainability- and EV-focused ACT Expo begins in Las Vegas. The show has been growing for years, and is already reporting record attendance and exhibitors for this year.

Kicking off the keynote speeches from day one of the Expo was Erik Neandross, president of GNA, organizers of the show.

Neandross outlined the “perfect storm” he sees that’s driving the growth of sustainable and electrified trucking.

“The three big drivers in the industry: one, massive global investment; two, growing commitments around sustainability and carbon reductions; and three, the backstop of regulations. And when I think about these issues now, I only see a strengthening year over year, and that’s going to mean more growth ahead.”

Erik-Neandross-ACT-Expo
Erik Neandross.

Roger Alm, president of Volvo Trucks, spoke next, giving a wide-ranging speech about what’s needed to achieve sustainability in the transportation industry.

“Heavy trucks on the roads stand for 7% of the global CO2 and the demand for transport will increase as the population will grow,” he said. “This is our biggest challenge ever, both to meet this demand and to reduce emissions. I’m convinced that we can do this by working together. It all starts with realizing the problem and then committing to huge changes.”

Alm gave his thoughts on what’s needed to make this happen:

“Infrastructure, green energy and incentives is simply not enough. There is one more important thing that would really speed up the transformation and that is [putting] a price on CO2. This is really needed to make zero emission transport [customers’] first choice. It would give the transport industry a long term condition that is needed for the transformation to happen. Everything CO2 must come with a cost.”

Roger Alm.

This was followed by a group discussion from five fleets on the topic of environmental and economic sustainability in the transportation industry. IKEA, DHL, Sysco, Maersk and PepsiCo were all represented here.

Rounding out the day’s keynote speeches was a “fireside chat” (although the main stage remained, thankfully, fire-free throughout) between Neandross and Dan Priestley, senior manager for Semi at Tesla.

The long-promised Semi was the subject of Priestley’s talk.

Originally announced in 2017 with a planned 2019 production schedule, the Semi is now being used by some fleets including Pepsico. Of the delay, Priestley said: “Tesla has a specialty, which is turning the impossible into merely late,” a line delivered to laughs from the audience.

He said the Semi has driven 3.5 million miles to date, and that a factory is being built to begin building trucks for customers in 2026, with an eventual goal of producing 50,000 per year.

Read our more detailed recap of Priestley’s talk here.

Following this talk, the ribbon was cut, opening ACT Expo’s show floor for the week.

Keep it tuned to Fleet Equipment throughout the week as we continue to bring you all of the news from the show.

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