2021 Commercial Trucking Company Grants to Reduce Diesel Emissions

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations enforceable in 2021 require that commercial trucks release no more than 460 grams of carbon emissions per hour. Replacing delivery, utility, tractor trailer trucks, and buses with model-year 2021-2027 vehicles will save owners and shipping companies $170 billion in gasoline costs and use two billion barrels less oil by 2027. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation offer grant funds to truck drivers to replace their shipping fleet with energy efficient 2021 engines.

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency National Grants

The EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant seeks to improve air quality by reducing toxic gas exuded from interstate commercial trucks' that transport goods. The EPA strives to award $46 million to state and local governments through its 10 regional offices for fleets of trucks operating in areas with poor air quality.

EPA DERA funds may be used for modifications of Class 5 - Class 8 heavy-duty diesel highway vehicles, buses, locomotives, and off-road engines used in mining, agriculture, or energy production. EPA DERA grant funds can be used for:

  • Retrofit exhaust technology

  • Engine upgrades

  • Cleaner fuel with additives

  • Reduced gas burned while idling

  • Aerodynamic technology

  • Low rolling resistance tires

  • Replacement engines


State Clean Vehicle Grants

Your state, Pennsylvania, for example, offers numerous grants, incentives, rebates, and tax credits for utilization of 2021 energy efficient vehicles. All Pennsylvanians qualify for rebates on clean-energy alternative-fuel vehicles that reduce dependence on imported oil and gasoline and improve air quality.

Drive Pennsylvania Forward Grants

Drive Pennsylvania Forward Grants applied to Class 4 to 8 commercial trucks and buses for freight or transit pays a maximum of $500,000 to applicable owners based on the cost of the engine or fuel that improves Pennsylvania air quality. Successful applicants may claim a voucher redeemable within a year upon successful completion of an emission reduction project. The multifacted Drive Pennsylvania Forward Grant Program also supports:

  • Fast charging and hydrogen fuel projects: Fast charging and hydrogen fuel projects supply power to light duty vehicles operating within Pennsylvania. Business may be awarded up to $500,000 to cover 70% of the cost of hydrogen fuel stations or up to $250,000 for fast direct charging projects.

  • Electric cargo handling projects: Electric cargo handling projects replace diesel forklifts that lift more than 8,000 pounds, for aircraft ground support equipment, and cargo handling equipment used at a port. Grant funds will pay 40 to 60% of the cost of totally replacing gasoline equipment with comparable equipment powered entirely by electricity.


California Leads the Clean Air Initiative

The California Air Resources Board is committed to zero-emissions in 2024 and challenging trucking companies with incentives, grant funds, and credits to construct a charging infrastructure and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association asserts that commercial trucks tend to be diesel-powered, and the electric infrastructure is insufficient and funds for conversion to zero-emission electric powered vehicles also inadequate.

California Air Resources Board Grants

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) intends to award $205 million in clean air grants to accelerate use of clean freight technologies and reduce carbon emissions from diesel-powered trucks transporting goods within California's borders. The $205-million state investment is matched by private and public investors making the total available grant funds more than $400 million to purchase reduced and zero-emission trucks.

Sample California Air Resources Board Projects

The Frito Lay Transformative Zero and Near-Zero Emission Freight Facility Project won $15.4 million from the state of California to replace diesel-powered vehicles with 15 Tesla electric tractor trailers and fuel 38 others with renewable natural gas, and six Peterbilt electric trucks. Private sector partners matched the $15.4 million giving Frito Lay $30.8 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Volvo Low-Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) won $44.8 million for 23 Volvo Class 8 electric trucks, 24 zero-emission forklifts, 58 heavy-duty fast charging trucks in California and Ontario. Private and public sector partners matched the $45.9 million. Volvo Trucks North America's 2021 D13 Turbo Compound (D13TC) engine operates in three modes to burn less fossil fuel and use less motor oil.

In 2021, the toughest clean-air mandate ever enacted on commercial trucks in the United States is necessary to reduce toxic emissions and improve air quality even in industrial innercities. Aerodynamic improvements, such as, lightweight side skirts on tractor trailers block polutants escaping into the environment, but 2021 introduces tough compliance issues for commercial trucking companies.

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