From the Show Floor: Combustion engines in the future, funding sustainable trucks

From the Show Floor: Combustion engines in the future, funding sustainable trucks

A new HD brand, an autonomous truck, a timeline for ICE technology, resources to help fleets decarbonize and more from ACT Expo.

In the first two ‘From the Show Floor’ segments for ACT Expo 2024, Jason and David spoke to industry experts about technology and regulations regarding a clean future for trucking, but there’s still a lot of roads to be traveled until we’re there. And on those roads, we’ll need trucks—trucks hauling weight around the globe, nearly all of them fueled by internal combustion engines (ICE). Do ICE trucks have a place in the future, and if so, how long will they stick around? Amanda Phillips, general manager of Cummins on-highway OEM engine sales, tells us where current technology stands in the decarbonization spectrum and the role it has to play in future powertrains.

As we all know, whether you’re outfitting a whole fleet, or buying one or two vehicles for your owner-operator outfit, trucks are not cheap. Especially new trucks, decked out with new sustainability-focused technology, which may be needed to meet CARB and EPA Phase 3 standards. That’s why we spoke with Harmony Gates, senior director of regulatory compliance for GNA, a TRC company (GNA), and Tom Swenson, the global director of regulatory affairs at Cummins. We wanted to know what resources there are for fleets to upgrade to alternative fuels, and how they can find, qualify and apply for these incentives.

Some big headlines in ‘From the Show Floor’ episode three:

  • Volvo Trucks unveiled the VNL Autonomous, a driverless truck that’s ready for production. The company also announced its “Volvo on Demand” Truck-as-a-Service business model, designed to help companies tackle the complexity and cost of migrating to battery electric vehicles;
  • Stellantis showed off its Ram Pro Master EV delivery van, along with the ram REV chassis, which will be used in the Ram 1500 REV pickup, coming this year;
  • Mack had several announcements, including a fully electric automated side loader that can be integrated with the Mack LR Electric Class 8 truck, and the news that its 2024 MD and LR electric qualify for CARB’s Clean Truck and Bus voucher incentive project; and
  • Hino and Hexagon Purus introduced Tern, their new joint truck brand, along with their inaugural Class 8 EV model, the RC8. The companies say the RC8 will enter production later this year.

Our coverage of this year’s show caps off with a look ahead, speaking with both Mike Roeth of NACFE, and Erik Neandross of GNA. What are their takeaways from this year, what’s on the horizon for 2025, and what should fleets consider about the new technology, equipment and solutions they’ve seen at ACT Expo? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

Catch up on our video series from ACT Expo 2024

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