Professor Genevieve Giuliano presents “Heavy duty trucks: The challenge of getting to zero”

Map Unavailable

Date(s) - May 05, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


This event has now ended. Click here to view a summary of the event and link to presentation files and videorecordings.


head shot of Dr. Genevieve Giuliano
Professor Genevieve Giuliano is Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government, and Director of the METRANS Transportation Center at USC Price.

This research considers strategies that will reduce truck emissions and achieve public health and GHG reduction targets.

Freight shipments in urban areas are increasing throughout the world as a result of globalization, rising incomes, and shifting patterns of production and consumption. Urban freight shipments are overwhelmingly made by trucks, which generate significant negative impacts on human health and contribute to GHG emissions.

We examine the potential of zero emission heavy-duty trucks (ZEHDTs).  We use simulation modeling and case studies to explore the impacts of using battery electric heavy-duty trucks (BEHDTs) and natural gas hybrid heavy-duty trucks (hybrid HDTs) in freight operations, taking into account differences in performance and refueling.  We estimate impacts for 2020, 2025, and 2030.  BEHDT applications are limited in the near term due to range and charging limitations, but as BEHDT performance improves and prices go down, they are viable for a larger segment of the market.  Hybrid vehicles are the most cost-effective alternative for reducing air toxics, but BEHDTs reduce air toxics the most by 2025. Subsidies and charging infrastructure investment would be required to promote use of BEHDTs.

The presentation is based on:

Giuliano, G., M. Dessouky, S. Dexter, J. Fang, S. Hu, M. Miller. Heavy duty trucks:  The challenge of getting to zero. Transportation Research Part D. Forthcoming 2021.

A moderated panel discussion and Q & A will follow the presentation.

About the speaker

Professor Genevieve Giuliano is Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government, and Director of the METRANS Transportation Center at USC Price.

Her research areas include relationships between land use and transportation, transportation policy analysis, travel behavior, and information technology applications in transportation. Current research includes examination of relationships between urban form, online shopping behavior, and local freight demand; market potential for zero emission trucks; reducing local impacts of truck traffic, and applications for transportation system analysis using archived real-time data. She has published over 180 papers and given invited lectures around the world.

Professor Giuliano is a past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and of the Council of University Transportation Centers. She has received numerous distinguished scholarship and service awards including the TRB Distinguished Service Award (2006), the Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lectureship Award (2007), the Transportation Research Forum Outstanding Researcher Award (2012), the Council of University Transportation Centers Distinguished Contribution award (2013), and the Walter Isard Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Regional Science (2017). She is a former member of the ITS Joint Program Advisory Committee and the National Freight Advisory Committee. She has participated in many TRB policy studies; most recently on the Committee on the Future of the Interstate Highway System. At the state level, she is working with Caltrans and CARB on the implementation of the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan.

About the panel

Moderator and three panelists photos with names and affiliations



  • Aman Johal, Vice President, PRIDE Group Enterprises
  • Carolyn Kim, Regional Director of Ontario, Pembina Institute
  • Dr. Laura Minet, Postdoctoral Fellow in Earth Sciences and Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

Join us

This event is free and all are welcome. Mark your calendar! Registration is not required.

If you have accessibility needs, please email beforehand.

Hosted online via Zoom.


Presented by the 2020-2021 Distinguished Lecture Series of the University of Toronto Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering and co-sponsored by the Smart Freight Centre and UTTRI.

crest and wordmark for the University of Toronto Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering


graphic and text logo


crest and wordmark of the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute


Receive the latest Smart Freight Centre research, news and events by email.
Subscribe to the Smart Freight Centre listserv here.