Philadelphia House Delegation celebrates state grants to reduce emissions from high-polluting trucks

HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today hailed the investment of more than $5.6 million in state funding to reduce emissions from high-polluting heavy-duty trucks traveling through Philadelphia.

According to state Rep. Morgan Cephas, who chairs the delegation, a $3.98 million grant was awarded to Sysco Leasing, LLC to replace 10 Class 8, short-haul, semi-tractors among its fleet with battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, and install 10 direct current fast charging plugs. SEPTA also was awarded $1.68 million to replace six freight and delivery trucks with BEV trucks and install supporting electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Grants were awarded under the state’s Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Fleet Pilot Grant Program.

“Every Pennsylvanian has the right to be protected from the environmental and health harms caused by pollution, especially people in historically marginalized neighborhoods who have suffered under years of environmental injustice and where air quality is a significant health concern,” Cephas said. “I am delighted to see the state investing in cleaner energy and directing money where it is needed so that the city can build cleaner infrastructure and we all can breathe cleaner air, reducing incidences of respiratory and cardiovascular disease.”  

Since 2018 Pennsylvania has offered several financial incentive programs under the Driving PA Forward Initiative to improve air quality in the state and drive the transformation of Pennsylvania’s fleets of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, equipment, and vessels away from older, high-polluting diesel engines and toward cleaner transportation technologies, such as modern clean diesel, alternative fuel, battery electric and hybrid technologies.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Neilson, D-Phila., said the program grants awarded build on the success of Driving PA Forward by focusing on funding the replacement of diesel-powered, Class 4 to 8, on-road fleet vehicles with zero-emission fleet vehicles.

"While world leaders are demanding we all move to zero emissions, it's great to see it embraced by local leaders of the transportation sector in Philadelphia," Neilson said. “I hope to see more local companies take advantage of this program and invest in zero-emission fleet vehicles, which will pave the way for a cleaner future for generations to come."

In addition to the nitrogen oxides reduction goals of previous Driving PA Forward funding programs, the fundamental objective of this program is to demonstrate and verify MHD-ZEV’s performance in real-world fleet applications, encouraging other businesses or authorities to emulate.