American Truckers Challenge Biden over ‘Climate’ Crackdown on Big Rigs

American truckers are challenging Democrat President Joe Biden over the administration’s crackdown on heavy-duty vehicles.

As Slay News reported, the Biden admin’s recently finalized regulations push for the heavy-duty vehicle sector to go all-electric.

The Biden admin claims the crackdown on diesel-powered trucks is designed to “fight climate change.”

Truckers are now pushing back on the new regulations and voicing concerns that electric heavy-duty vehicle technology is not nearly advanced enough to replace the nation’s existing diesel-powered fleet.

Experts warn that electric vehicle batteries have severe limitations, such as low performance in cold weather conditions and shorter ranges.

The short ranges of electric trucks would mean drivers would need to make extended stops to charge, adding major delays during long-distance journeys.

They also warned that the lack of high-powered charging infrastructure and power grid upgrades needed for charging vehicles would present additional problems.

The changes also create major problems for owner-operator truckers who would need to replace their rigs with expensive electric vehicles.

“I’m an owner-operator,” Mike Nichols, a Wisconsin-based trucker, told Fox News in an interview.

“I’ve been in the business for 30 years.

“Even if they subsidized the cost of the electric vehicle 100%, I still would refuse because I still would go broke.

“That’s how useless they are,” Nichols noted.

“If they gave me one of these things, I still wouldn’t take it.

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“EV trucks don’t do as much work.

“They’re heavier, so they can’t haul as much,” Nichols added.

“They don’t go as far. They take longer to charge.”

Nichols says that he wouldn’t be able to run his business if he were forced into using an electric vehicle.

“So, you’re going to need more trucks on the road, which is completely the opposite of what we would want if we were actually concerned about bettering our society,” he noted.

On Friday, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the regulations, beginning in 2026 for model year 2027 vehicles.

The regulations gradually become more stringent through the model year 2032.

They affect short-haul and long-haul tractor-trailer trucks and vocational trucks like delivery vehicles, school and public transit buses, garbage trucks, concrete trucks, and fire trucks.

Biden’s EPA previously projected the standards could lead to 50% of vocational trucks, 35% of short-haul tractor-trailers, and 25% of long-haul tractor-trailers produced in 2032 being electric.

The highest-end electric semi-truck, Tesla’s Semi model, has a range of 500 miles.

However, the average diesel-powered semi-truck has a typical range of between 1,500 and 2,000 miles, depending on its mileage and tank size.

Aside from the Tesla Semi, most other electric models have ranges below 330 miles, according to data compiled by Ptolemus Consulting Group.

Additionally, electric trucks can take as long as three hours to fully charge, the data shows.

Meanwhile, diesel truck tanks can usually be filled in 20 minutes or less.

The delays caused by charging and short ranges would make typical journeys almost impossible.

At the same time, despite the lower efficiency, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation, the average electric truck typically costs around $300,000.

Traditional diesel models are half that price on average.

Nichols noted that an additional problem with electrifying heavy-duty vehicles is the impact on trucks that need to execute a power takeoff — for when the vehicle is stationary — but the engine is running to operate another function, such as a hydraulic system, pump, or blower.

He couldn’t say how a battery-powered truck would perform these tasks.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates trucks transported a whopping 11.5 billion tons of freight in 2022, equivalent to about 72% of total tonnage shipped nationwide.

But less than 1% of new truck sales in the U.S. are zero emissions, according to the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (TEMA).

TEMA represents the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles.

To meet Biden’s electrification goals, the U.S. would need 28 million charging ports by 2030.

However, there are currently only 160,000 such ports, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Lewie Pugh, who drove a truck for 25 years and serves as executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), blasted the Biden admin for pushing regulations without a real plan in place.

“This administration just continues to put out regulations on truckers and small business trucking without any knowledge or even trying to get the knowledge of what these truckers have to go through,” Push said.

“This is just so frustrating to me.”

“Truckers want clean air, clean water but there are certain ways to go about it.

“We’re passing mandatory laws on technology that’s not even invented, and nobody knows what the cost is going to be.”

Pugh raised concerns that the U.S. power grid isn’t ready for such an increase in the level of electrical demand that would be sparked by trucks being plugged in so frequently.

A December 2022 study by the American Transportation Research Institute determined the full electrification of the U.S. transportation sector would require a 40% increase in generation and transmission capacity compared to the current grid.

This figure does not include the requirements for electric private vehicles, however.

In addition to individual truckers and OOIDA, other industry groups such as the American Trucking Association and American Bus Association came out against the EPA’s regulations.

The organizations characterized the rules as “burdensome, expensive, and rife with a series of long-term issues.”

In response to the backlash, the EPA defended the regulations.

“The rule will deliver substantial public health benefits, while at the same time ensuring fleet owners and operators the flexibility to choose the vehicle technologies best suited to their operations,” EPA said in a statement.

READ MORE – 9 States to Ban Sale of Gas-Powered Vehicles to Help Biden Tackle ‘Climate Crisis’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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