Green Truck Summit Part 1: What’s On The Agenda?

There’s no question that the commercial vehicle industry is striving to achieve greater sustainability, productivity, and efficiency. Fortunately, there are events like the Green Truck Summit (GTS) that provide insights, resources, and possible solutions to support business owners as the commercial vehicle landscape shifts toward zero emissions.

Scheduled for March 7, 2023, the GTS is part of Work Truck Week and represents our nation’s premiere commercial vehicle show. The summit highlights EVs and other advances in commercial vehicle sustainability and efficiency. The Green Truck Summit offers exclusive programs from industry experts, government representatives, and vehicle and equipment manufacturers.

Commercial vehicles and environmental sustainability

Although sustainability means different things to different people, we all know it’s a critical issue. The challenge we face as business owners is implementing sustainable initiatives while remaining profitable. Integrating green commercial vehicle technology into our value chain is as complex as the topic of sustainability itself. Let’s look at some of the issues that will be addressed at the GTS.

Commercial EV technology

What’s out there?

No one disputes that the U.S. government is actively pushing for the adoption of EVs as part of a larger initiative to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint. But what commercial EV options are actually available on the market today? All issues imaginable are ancillary to the availability of vehicles for sale.


Secondary to availability is charging infrastructure. Integrating EVs into daily work processes necessitates evaluating options such as installing charging units at your own facility or finding the best charging stations both locally and out along your driving routes.

EV Battery technology

Energy storage, in the form of batteries, has historically been one of the weaker links in EV adoption—think “high cost” and “low range.” Developing a battery that is safer, costs less, provides a longer driving range, and doesn’t use imported “conflict” minerals is, of course, the goal. But progress in battery technology is making headway. Advancements in battery technology and materials are crucial for commercial EVs to be a truly sustainable alternative.

EV Adoption challenges

Deciding to integrate EVs into your fleet is a major decision involving multiple aspects of your business. Usual considerations such as financing and maintenance will require a certain amount of forethought in order to minimize risk.

Financing for EVs can be creative and may include state and federal programs and incentives that support the work truck industry’s transition to electric vehicles. Savvy business owners will learn how to leverage available funding opportunities and tax incentives, such as those included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. It is wise to get as much help as possible in planning the steps required to maximize the benefits of transitioning to EVs.

Commercial ICE technology

EVs seem to garner the lion’s share of attention, but not all emission reduction efforts will lead to electric-only solutions. Every improvement in vehicle efficiency reduces fuel consumption, potentially reducing its carbon footprint.


Manufacturers continue to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines (ICE) that burn diesel for fuel. Alternate fuels for ICE, including hydrogen, are also being developed as means to reduce carbon exhaust output.

Control systems

Advancements in engine control systems, such as unnecessary idle time, shift points, and acceleration rate, target inefficiencies that increase fuel consumption during the time a vehicle is in use during a shift.


Power transmission has a direct impact on total vehicle efficiency. Aspects such as gear ratios and lockup timing help ICE power plants spend more time running within the range where they are most efficient.

It’s obvious from the break-out sessions schedule that the show’s producer, the NTEA, is savvy to the multiple faces that represent environmentally sustainable solutions in the commercial vehicle industry. Acknowledging that not all emission reduction efforts will lead to electric-only solutions, this show includes topics such as financing initiatives and internal combustion engine (ICE) advancements. The NTEA deserves big kudos for its impartiality in striving to provide a forum for the industry to grow and improve.