ACT Expo: Top Five Takeaways  

By EC Freight Program Manager Will Marshall and Program Associate Jerold Brito

It’s been just over a week since the conclusion of the 2024 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, the premier conference for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification and other advanced and zero-emission transportation technologies. Electrification Coalition (EC) Executive Director Ben Prochazka, Freight Program Manager Will Marshall, and Program Associate Jerold Brito attended this year’s ACT Expo, joining thousands of others working at the local, state, and federal levels to advance and scale transportation electrification.

    This year’s ACT Expo was the biggest yet, with more than 14,000 attendees and hundreds of companies offering electrification solutions. After four days of attending educational sessions, walking the expo hall floors, and meeting with current and future partners, here are our top five takeaways:

    1. The opportunity for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification is now. In addition to the record number of attendees, more than 200 vehicles representing nearly every class, size, and duty cycle were on display. Notably, the newly announced Lion8 by Lion Electric, an all-electric Class-8 commercial truck, made its debut on the expo hall floor. Innovations in megawatt charging dominated the infrastructure displays. At their booths, WattEV had a model of their new site in California capable of megawatt charging, and ChargePoint shared their Megawatt Charging System. These announcements and displays are representative of the progress seen at ACT Expo this year. Thanks to the strategic coordination, investments, and commitments made by the local, state, and federal governments, as well as the technological innovations in the industrial sector, freight electrification is being realized here and now. It will only continue to accelerate moving forward.
    2. Challenges still persist. Despite the industry’s advancements, several key challenges remain, such as the higher upfront costs and availability of charging infrastructure. However, these are solvable issues that can be addressed through thoughtful policies and technological innovation. The role of the policy advocacy and implementation community has never been more important. The EC continues to create that community and to advocate for policies that address these challenges and create a robust market for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks through state and federal-level incentives, grant programs, and regulations.
    3. Pilot projects are scaling to broader deployments. In previous years, deployments featured at ACT Expo were small-scale pilot projects testing equipment and infrastructure capabilities. This past year, many companies moved from the pilot stage to scaling their electric truck deployments. WattEV announced that they are quintupling their electric truck fleet from 36 to 180 trucks by the end of the year. PepsiCo announced it would roll out 50 Tesla Semi trucks and 75 Ford E-Transit vans over the next few months, more than tripling its zero-emissions fleet in California. These rapid expansions show that, more than ever before, the industry has a large appetite for electrification.
    4. Charging infrastructure is coming. While infrastructure issues persist, there’s been a significant uptick in the number of charging sites for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles developed this past year. At ACT Expo, Prologis and Performance Team- A Maersk Team announced the launch of a heavy-duty EV charging depot in Southern California, located near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The site—constructed in just five months—is powered by the largest electric truck microgrid in the country. Not all of these announcements focused on California; looking east, Zeem Solutions announced they will develop a 30-megawatt capacity charging depot near Port Newark in New Jersey capable of hosting overnight parking and charging 200 electric trucks with an additional capacity to charge 300 electric trucks during the day.
    5. Increased coordination and commitments by shippers and carriers are critical to the success of freight electrification. Conversations on the mainstage, in panels and workshops, and in the convention’s hallways focused on the need for increased alignment between shippers and carriers on zero-emission freight. This year, ACT Expo programming featured the inaugural ACT Shipper-Carrier Connect, a two-day event for shippers, carriers, and logistic providers to collaborate and discuss efforts and progress toward electrification.

    The EC is actively engaged with our partners to work on these issues, advocate for policies that will advance the transportation electrification industry, and drive implementation of freight electrification projects at scale through initiatives like our Electric Freight Consortium and Port Electrification Network, and publicly available tools like the Dashboard for Rapid Vehicle Electrification (DRVE) Tool, EV Funding Finder, or Electric Freight Dashboard. Interested in learning more? Reach out to Will Marshall at wmarshall@electrificationcoalition.org

    We look forward to seeing all the progress made in the next year at ACT Expo 2025 back in Anaheim!

    Amy Malaki

    Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.