Pennsylvania bill would increase electric truck weight

September 18, 2019

Keith Goble

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A Pennsylvania bill would add the state to the list of states to adopt a federal weight exemption for battery-powered electric tractor-trailers.

The Keystone State now authorizes affected electric trucks to weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

The FAST Act passed by Congress in 2015 raised the weight limit for natural gas and electric tractor-trailers to 82,000 pounds. The rule authorized states to act to raise the weight on interstates within their borders.

Sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Richland, SB845 would increase the maximum allowable gross weight for commercial vehicles powered by electric battery power by 2,000 pounds to 82,000 pounds.

Langerholc was the sponsor of a bill signed into law two years ago authorizing the same weight allowance for trucks powered by natural gas.

Advocates say the weight allowance is necessary because heavier equipment is required to power trucks operating on electric battery power and natural gas.

“Heavy-duty electric tractor-trailers that run at full weight capacity weigh closer to 82,000 pounds simply due to the weight of the necessary equipment needed to make the engine and system work,” Langerholc wrote in a memo to his fellow senators.

Natural Gas Vehicles for America reports that more than half of all states have adopted the gross vehicle weight rating provision.

Langerholc’s bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.