TravelCenters of America Finds Fleets Are Moving Toward Sustainable Fuels

Fleet companies are investing in electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
TravelCenters of America's 50th anniversary logo

WESTLAKE, Ohio — A new report found that U.S. trucking fleets are moving forward with planning and investment in fleets powered by sustainable fuels.

According to TravelCenters of America (TA) latest survey report, "Sustainable Fuels in Trucking: The Greening of America’s Trucking Industry," fleet companies have begun making investments in electric vehicles (EV) and hydrogen-powered vehicles and expect to continue to do so in the next few years. 

The survey was released as part of a new white paper from eTA, TA's sustainability business unit.

"This white paper, the first in a series about the trucking industry's transition to sustainable fuels and TA's role in that process, identifies the key challenges the industry is facing and the support it will need from federal and state governments to be successful," said Jon Pertchik, TA CEO. "One of the key findings is that many companies are hesitant to fully commit to alternative energy vehicles until the technology and infrastructure have matured enough for them to maintain efficient operations during the transition period and beyond. 

"With the current range of EV and hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks, fleet leaders want to see a substantial number of available fast-charging and/or refueling stations before making larger investments in new vehicles," he added. "TA plans to be a leader in providing EV charging stations and hydrogen refueling for trucks at its over 275 travel centers as the industry adopts these sustainable fuels."

Additional  key survey findings include:

  • One in five companies responding to the survey already have some EVs in their fleet.
  • About half expect to have EVs in their fleet by 2030.
  • Most responding companies anticipate that EV trucks will make up 11 percent to 25 percent of their fleet by 2030.
  • Only 5 percent of fleets responding have hydrogen vehicles in their fleets today, but this number will likely increase to nearly 25 percent of fleets by 2030.
  • Nine percent of responding fleets currently have compressed natural gas vehicles, with very few anticipating they will make up a larger percentage of their fleets by 2030.
  • Few responding companies seem interested in vehicles powered by renewable natural gas or liquified natural gas.

To view the full report click here.

Progress in Alternative Energy 

In April 2021 the company launched eTA, a new unit dedicated to partnering with the public sector, private companies and customers to deliver sustainable and alternative energy, as reported by Convenience Store News.

The unit builds on TA's previously announced plans to monetize a broad range of potential offerings in alternative energy, extending its commitment to providing the widest range of nonfuel offerings across its convenience store, restaurant and truck service businesses. 

Several TA accomplishments in the alternative space that provided a strong foundation for the success of eTA include:

  • Securing a $4 million grant with the California Energy Commission to participate in an innovative industry test project for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle electrification. 
  • Significantly expanding diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) availability. TA has made a substantial capital investment into DEF availability and plans to add DEF to fueling lanes at additional.
  • Expanding the company's investment in biodiesel blending, with plans to install additional biodiesel blending infrastructure across the network and expand renewable diesel offerings in California and Oregon.
  • Rolling out plans to install FreeWire EV charging stations for motorists in California.

Westlake-based TA is the nation's largest publicly traded full-service travel center network. It operates more than 270 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands, in addition to nearly 650 full-service and quick-service restaurants and nine proprietary brands, including Iron Skillet and Country Pride.