Can Deep Cuts in GHG Emissions from Trucks be Achieved by 2050?

The United States and California have made commitments to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with California aiming to cut GHG emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Individual sectors and transportation modes are not necessarily required to meet this “80-in-50” goal, but if any one mode (such as trucks) fails to, it puts more pressure on other modes to achieve deeper cuts. Trucking is the dominant domestic freight mode in the country, and is also the fastest growing sector and consumes more energy than any other freight mode. 

This policy brief summarizes research that suggests that the combination of significantly improved vehicle efficiency coupled with very low-carbon fuels (electricity, hydrogen, or biofuels) can help the trucking sector reach the GHG target.