Dec 1, 2022 • 46M

Decarbonizing Drayage Trucking

MCJ Startup Series: Forum Mobility

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Episode details

Today's guest is Matt LeDucq, CEO and co-founder of Forum Mobility, which is working on the problem of heavy-duty trucking electrification, starting in California with the drayage sector.

There are essentially two types of trucking. The first is long-haul or "over the road" which transports goods over long distances. If you've ever done a cross-country road-trip, the semi trucks on the interstates you see are long-haul trucks. And then there are drayage trucks. These trucks take large cargo containers from sea ports to distribution centers (and back and forth). Their typically short distances and repeatable patterns make them especially good candidates for electrification. Drayage trucks are relatively densely clustered and predictable, which helps when it comes to planning the EV charging infrastructure that can provide the amount of power these trucks command. It also turns out that California has some aggressive emissions reduction regulations coming online that will dramatically escalate the transition of drayage trucks from diesel to electric.

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Matt and Cody have a great conversation about the pending California regulations at play, as well as the history of clean air regulation around trucking. They also talk about the air quality issues surrounding most ports and the environmental justice issues that these regulations are aiming to address. They cover how the vast majority of drayage truck owners are independent operators and the financial burden that these regulations place on them. And, of course, they talk about Forum Mobility's product offering and company history, in addition to Matt's deep background in renewable energy. There are loads to learn about electrifying the trucking industry in this episode. Enjoy! 

In this episode, we cover: 

  • [3:19] The current regulatory world of decarbonizing the trucking industry in California 

  • [6:59] The role of environmental justice and dangerous emissions around ports 

  • [10:17] Challenges for independent truck owners and small businesses in meeting new regulations

  • [14:32] Geographic differences in the drayage model

  • [16:28] Incentive programs that help bridge the financing gap 

  • [18:19] Forum Mobility's solution 

  • [27:21] The company's business model 

  • [30:17] An overview of the charging infrastructure needed for drayage trucks

  • [33:11] Matt's background in solar, construction, and electrification 

  • [36:41] Where he sees the company growing 

  • [38:18] How policy tailwinds can expand Forum's future business 

  • [42:13] Funding to date and how Matt sees funding moving forward

Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.

Get connected: 
Cody's Twitter
Matt’s LinkedIn
Forum Mobility LinkedIn / Twitter
MCJ Podcast / Collective

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Episode recorded on October 18, 2022.