Gallery: Future of transportation draws record crowd to ACT Expo

May 17, 2022
Fleet leaders, suppliers, and more descended upon Southern California to get a close-up view of the emerging future of transportation. Along with high-tech equipment, CV leaders used the expo to discuss how to get the industry to zero emissions.

The advancement of clean transportation technologies is exploding within commercial fleets. Nowhere this year has that been on more prominent display than at the 2022 Advanced Clean Transportation Expo, which took over the Long Beach Convention Center for a week.

While diesel prices continue to break price records across the U.S., more than 75 advanced clean technology vehicles were on display among more than 250 exhibits. This drew thousands of fleet leaders, suppliers, and others to the expo, which featured three days of exhibit hall access among dozens of panels and presentations on the future of transportation.

The show surpassed 8,500 attendees—60% more than the 2021 show last August—according to expo organizers Gladstein, Neandross & Associates. Those who made the trip to Southern California last week got to check out what traditional OEMs, startups, and other suppliers are working on as the industry increases its zero-emission efforts this decade. A lot of that progress and how fleets are beginning to embrace it was detailed in GNA’s annual State of Sustainable Fleets report that was released on the opening day of the expo.

Long-time commercial vehicle makers, such as Daimler Truck North America and Volvo Trucks North America, used ACT Expo to celebrate their advancements in turning well-known diesel-powered nameplates into battery-electric trucks. DTNA’s eCascadia is now in series production. And VTNA announced more orders from large fleets for its VNR Electric.

Known more for its school buses, many now offered as zero-emission vehicles, Blue Bird showed off a new medium-duty EV chassis for the commercial vehicle market. Newer EV-focused OEMs, such as Xos Trucks, used the weeklong event to launch two new EV trucks: the Class 8 Xos HDXT and Classes 6-7 MDXT.

North American EV manufacturer Zeus Electric Chassis announced during ACT Expo that it is entering the Australian work truck market with its purpose-built Classes 4-6 electric truck.

As the availability of BEVs grows in the fleet world, there are concerns about how to charge all those truck batteries, which OEM leaders discussed with FleetOwner and during panel sessions. 

Focusing on light-duty charging, Shell Recharge Solutions North America and Penske Truck Leasing (No. 17 on the FleetOwner 500: For-Hire list) unveiled plans to set up Level 2 charging infrastructure at 33 Penske locations in six states. For the heavy-duty charging market, WattEV announced plans to build a large charging station at the Port of Long Beach and detailed its plans to offer EV trucks-as-a-service in California. 

DTNA also touted its partnership with NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock Renewable Power to create a nationwide charging network for battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks. They plan to build a network of charging sites on critical freight routes along the East Coast and West Coast and in Texas by 2026.

During his ACT Expo keynote address, Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger talked about how the trucking power company is leaning into clean technologies. He used his time on stage to announce that Cummins and DTNA’s Freighliner are teaming up on a hydrogen fuel-cell tractor that will see Cummins’ fourth-generation hydrogen fuel-cell technology upfitted into a Freightliner Cascadia chassis. 

Cummins also unveiled a new 15-liter natural gas engine, a near-zero emission X15N, that is the product of a collaboration with the California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership. Hexagon Composites also unveiled a new cryogenic tank technology for liquid storage of renewable natural gas and hydrogen as it touted its energy-agnostic approach to transportation.

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