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Seattle - The City of Seattle in the United States is launching a pilot programme to incentivize the electrification of heavy duty lorries. Drivers can apply for a 40 per cent rebate on new electric trucks. Heavy freight activity is a major contributor to air pollution in the port city.

The Mayor of Seattle Bruce Harrell and the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) have announced a new Electric Trucks Pilot aimed at supporting local truck drivers transition to electric freight vehicles. The pilot seeks to improve air quality in the communities of the nearby Duwamish Valley, where heavy freight activity from the port of Seattle is one of the largest contributors to air pollution.

The programme will operate as a point-of-sale rebate for new electric trucks operating in the Duwamish Valley, explains a statement from the city. It covers 40 per cent of the cost to drivers (or to 180,000 US dollars per truck) for eligible drivers and fleet owners. Transportation is responsible for 61 per cent of the Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions, with approximately 9 per cent coming from freight.

“There are 4,000 trucks serving the Port of Seattle, and right now all of them are running on high-polluting diesel engines,” commented Jessyn Farrell, Director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment, in the statement. Mayor Bruce Harrell echoed these sentiments. He said: “Seattle is proud of our roots and our future as a port city – but we also know that its neighbours bear the brunt of the diesel pollution that comes from heavy-duty trucks moving goods throughout the Duwamish Valley.” 

Drivers and fleet operators have until 16 October to fill out an application for the pilot. Participants will be notified of their selection in early 2024. Seattle aims to achieve 30 per cent zero-emission goods delivery by 2030, in line with the City’s Transportation Electrification Blueprint. ce/em