Clean Fuels Ohio is a proud co-author of the new DriveOhio Freight Electrification report

As the auto industry diversifies into alternative fuels, DriveOhio has released a study outlining the path forward for commercial electrification. Building upon the statewide electric vehicle (EV) charging strategy released last year, this report details existing practices and the future framework needed to facilitate the freight and logistics industries transition to EVs.

“Ohio is the crossroads of America; we rank second in intermodal logistics facilities and sixth in volume of freight moving in and out of our state. As the auto industry continues to make major investments in electric vehicles and the infrastructure that powers them, we must be ready to pivot and adapt to a changing domestic and global economy,” said Executive Director of DriveOhio Howard Wood. “Working with the freight and logistics industry, this study adds important data to the electrification conversation as this ecosystem continues to mature in Ohio and across the nation.”

To evaluate the current state of play, freight vehicles were grouped into categories – terminal and off-road, last-mile delivery, local freight and drayage, and regional and long-haul – and feedback was collected from industry early adopters.  Collectively, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Bimbo Bakeries, PITT Ohio, Firefly Transportation Services (now Lazer Spot Inc.), and R&L Carriers cite increased safety, reduced carbon emissions, driver preference, and a competitive edge and job creation as reasons to electrify their fleet operations.

“Ohio is focused on maintaining its position as a manufacturing leader,” said Jack Marchbanks, Ohio Department of Transportation Director. “The viability, pace, and ultimate success of transitioning the freight sector to electric vehicles will require collaboration across all levels of government and private industry. Ohio has an opportunity to help lead the shift to a 21st century transportation economy.”

Looking to the future, DriveOhio’s Freight Electrification Study suggests government and industry leaders collaborate to ensure availability of reliable charging infrastructure, timely utility coordination, and standard electricity prices. As battery and charging technology improves, more use cases are becoming viable, encouraging development in adjacent market segments.

“The opportunities in Ohio for employment as an electrician are unparalleled. EV infrastructure, beneficial electrification, data warehousing, and utility-scale solar projects currently being constructed represent a massive quantity of labor hours,” said Dan Spurgeon, Vice President for Service and Special Projects at The Superior Group, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Favorable policies, advancing powertrain and battery technology, expanding EV availability, longer driving ranges, faster charge times, lower costs, and superior performance will continue to accelerate market adoption, leading to a large-scale commercial fleet conversion. Applying the report’s findings, the state and region’s existing automotive manufacturing and supply-chain infrastructure gives Ohio a competitive advantage to reap the workforce and economic benefits of the EV transition.