WASHINGTON—Rep. Peter DeFazio, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today visited Volvo Trucks North America’s TEC Equipment dealership location in Coburg to test-drive an electric Volvo Class 8 truck and highlight his clean energy priorities as he prepares to introduce transformative infrastructure legislation that creates jobs and stimulate the economy.
“For years, climate change deniers have argued that big businesses would never choose to invest in clean technologies because it wouldn’t make business sense—but now, big corporations are showing that there is a business case for climate solutions,” said Chair DeFazio. “As I work with President Biden to move the American Jobs Plan through Congress, I look forward to making investments that move our country toward cleaner, greener technologies, and a zero-pollution transportation sector. It’s a plan that addresses the existential threat of climate change and also creates thousands of good-paying jobs and strengthens an economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, DeFazio is expected to be a principal author and negotiator of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, a wide-sweeping plan aimed at fixing and modernizing our nation’s outdated infrastructure system. DeFazio plans to introduce legislative text in the coming weeks that lays out transformative investments in roads, bridges, transit, and rail, including funding to help build out charging capacity to accommodate the shift to electric vehicles, including passenger vehicles, freight trucks, and buses.
DeFazio has fought to ensure any infrastructure plan invests in clean energy technologies to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which is currently the number one source of carbon pollution in the U.S. DeFazio also recently held a hearing in his Committee about the private sector’s transition to clean energy, where FedEx’s CEO testified about the company’s plans to move to an all-electric fleet.
According to the Business Roundtable, inadequate infrastructure costs U.S. businesses $27 billion per year in extra transportation costs. And according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, between 2016-2025, the economy will lose almost $4 trillion in economic activity if we do not upgrade our infrastructure, costing 2.5 million jobs.
Chair DeFazio was joined by Dave Thompson, founder, and CEO of TEC Equipment; Alan Zelenka, Assistant Director for Planning and Innovation, Oregon Department of Energy; Jeff Allen, Executive Director of Forth Mobility, a nonprofit organization advancing electric, shared, and smart transportation; and, Jonathan Miller, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Volvo Group North America.
“At Volvo Group North America, we are committed to electrification and many other efforts to support the decarbonization of transportation and sustainability of our environment, including the launch of the Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 truck model, as demonstrated in Coburg, Oregon today,” said Jonathan Miller, Volvo Group North America. “Last year, the Volvo Group announced plans in line with the Paris Agreement to be fossil-fuel-free by 2040. While these are ambitious goals, we are currently taking orders and delivering on our plans to commercially launch battery-electric trucks, buses, and construction equipment in the United States and Canada.”
The Volvo VNR Electric truck is designed for driving cycles with both local and regional distribution ranges, including food and beverage and pick-up and delivery routes. The truck’s batteries can charge up to 80% within 70 minutes and have an operating range of up to 150 miles based on the truck’s configuration.