Ava Community Energy Completes Blueprint for Zero-Emission Trucks and Vans In the East Bay and Valley

Ava Community Energy Completes Blueprint for Zero-Emission Trucks and Vans In the East Bay and Valley

One of two CCAs to have completed a California Energy Commission Blueprint, Ava is charting the path for decarbonized medium- and heavy-duty goods movement in California

Oakland, CA – [January 23, 2024] – Ava Community Energy (Ava), formerly East Bay Community Energy, today announced the completion of its Blueprint for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Goods Movement, laying out the roadmap to achieve decarbonized transportation. This marks the conclusion of a two-year project funded by a California Energy Commission (CEC) grant in 2021 and makes Ava one of only two CCAs in California to have completed this type of planning project; Central Coast Community Energy wrapped their Blueprint up in December. The Blueprint was executed alongside zero-emission transportation industry leader CALSTART as Ava’s technical consultant.

”As a data and stakeholder-driven collaboration, the Ava Blueprint is designed to make an essential contribution to the East Bay’s medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) zero-emission journey. CALSTART is proud to have contributed to this effort and is very much looking forward to seeing the strategies and actions realized with other CCAs following Ava’s strong lead,” said Valerie Thorsen, CALSTART’s Deputy Director for the San Joaquin Valley.

By developing strategies and actions focused in five key areas – vehicles, infrastructure, financing, workforce development and community benefits – Ava’s Blueprint puts forward the framework needed to enable and sustain the regional transition to zero-emissions goods movement. Informed by data and a Stakeholder Guidance Committee composed of representatives from nearly 30 different public and private organizations, the Blueprint offers a cost-effective, inclusive model for other agencies or electricity providers seeking a replicable approach to understanding the ecosystem of goods movement vehicles in their service areas to develop the plan for their regional transitions. Here are some key observations from Ava’s Blueprint:

  • There are nearly 16,000 MHD goods movement vehicles registered in Ava’s service area, 54% of which are heavy-duty (Class 7-8 trucks) and 46% medium-duty (Class 2b-6 cargo vans, step vans, or box trucks).
  • Similar to light-duty EVs, while the total cost of ownership beats internal combustion alternatives, high upfront costs are a serious barrier to adoption.
  • Unlike light-duty EVs, many MHD fleets’ operational schedules leave virtually no flexibility for long charge times or chargers not being available exactly when they are needed.
  • The trained workforce needed to maintain zero-emission MHD trucks and vans is nowhere near where it needs to be, nor is the investment from the state in relevant training programs. While this barrier poses a substantial threat to the supply chain and success of the zero-emission transition, it also presents a significant opportunity for regional economic and workforce development.

“Alameda County is a global focal point for electric transportation, from Tesla’s Fremont factory to GILLIG, the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States, to Newark-based Lucid Motors,” said Nick Chaset, CEO of Ava Community Energy. “It’s only fitting that Ava, the area’s leading clean energy supplier, is continuing to go big on EVs. The first step in any journey is a roadmap; that’s where Ava began and that’s how we’re scaling for the future.”

In the past year, Ava advanced several EV initiatives for the MHD segment. In June 2023, Ava announced $4.5 million in financing for the development of Forum Mobility’s innovative electric truck charging depot in Livermore, California, capable of charging up to 96 trucks simultaneously.

Ava also launched the evFleet Consulting program, a free technical assistance program to deliver commercial fleet customers with expert consulting services to pave their path to electric mobility. In addition to these two early actions out of the Blueprint, Ava is assessing its next initiatives to ease and accelerate electrification for MHD fleets.

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About Ava Community Energy

Ava Community Energy (Ava), formerly East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), is the not-for-profit public power provider for more than 1.7 million residents and commercial customers in Alameda County and the City of Tracy, with service extending to the additional San Joaquin County cities of Stockton and Lathrop in January 2025. As one of 25 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, Ava is part of the movement to provide energy choice while expediting local and state-wide climate action goals. Ava is committed to creating a brighter future in our communities and beyond by providing clean power at competitive rates, reinvesting in our member communities, and developing programs that make it easy for customers to discover, try and adopt clean energy solutions. For more information about Ava Community Energy, visit avaenergy.org.