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Pennsylvania funds $40M to replace diesel trucks with EVs


(The Center Square) — The diesel-to-electric vehicle conversion continues as Pennsylvania coughs up the funds for localities and trucking companies to make an upgrade.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced on Wednesday $40 million in grants to 16 applicants to replace aging diesel vehicles with EVs.

The grants come from the $119 million Pennsylvania was awarded from a 2016-2017 settlement with Volkswagen after the company skirted emission rules.

“Clean air is crucial in ensuring a healthy environment,” DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley said in a press release. “That’s why we see it as our mission to address one of the most significant air quality challenges facing our Commonwealth—emissions from transportation.”

The grants are part of the Driving PA Forward program, which funds a number of electrification grants.

Some of these grants will go to municipalities, colleges, or state agencies.

Penn State University was awarded a $3.3 million grant to replace a handful of box trucks with battery-electric box trucks and add five EV chargers. The City of Erie will get $3.1 million to replace five garbage trucks with EV box trucks and add four chargers. And the City of Chester will get $1.6 million to replace three garbage trucks with EVs and add one charger and two charging plugs.

SEPTA will also get $1.7 million to replace six trucks and add “supporting EV charging infrastructure.” The borough of Munhall in Allegheny County will get $1.7 million as well to replace three garbage trucks and an EV charger.

Otherwise, though, the money will go to private companies.

The biggest grant goes to Pro Disposal in Cambria County: $6.2 million to replace 16 garbage trucks with EVs and 16 DC fast-charging plugs. In Philadelphia, Sysco Leasing will get $4 million for 10 EV short-haul semi-tractors and 10 fast-charging plugs.

In Beaver County, PGT Holdings was awarded $3.3 million to replace 10 short-haul tractors with eight battery-electric EVs and two hydrogen fuel cell EVs. The money will also support eight fast-charger plugs and two mobile hydrogen fueling units.

In 2022, DEP offered $13 million for truck electrification and sent out $70 million through Driving PA Forward from 2018-2022. The program was established by former Gov. Tom Wolf to improve air quality and meet emission-reduction goals.



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