Photo Credit: Tesla
“Smokey, old diesels” – this summarizes a long-held perception of the trucking industry. It has been, perhaps, a valid perception. Nevertheless, with electric transports entering the industry, opinions may be poised to change. Where has the trucking industry been and where is it going? How is geography going to impact the emergence of electric trucks?
Diesel exhaust has choked cities for decades. Diesel-powered transports have traditionally spewed up to 30 percent of the particulate matter (PM) in polluted urban air (Toy, Graham, & Hammit, 2000). Particulate matter in the United States alone caused 15,000 premature deaths each year (Nel, 2005). Diesel PM has been tied to increases in emphysema, asthma, and heart disease. Moreover, long-term exposure to diesel exhaust particles also poses the highest cancer risk of any toxic air contaminant (American Lung Association, n.d.).
Likewise, trucks have conventionally comprised about 10 percent of nitrogen oxide (NO
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