Giuliano and panelists draw from research and practice for a comprehensive look at reducing freight emissions

seminar flyer with photo

The Distinguished Lecture Series of the University of Toronto Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, the Smart Freight Centre, and UTTRI proudly hosted a virtual visit from Professor Genevieve Giuliano on May 5, 2021. Professor Giuliano is Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government, and Director of the METRANS Transportation Center at USC Price which hosts the biennial International Urban Freight Conference. She is widely acknowledged as a leader in sustainable freight research.

Professor Giuliano met with U of T graduate students, researchers and professors in a Research Roundtable earlier in the day, and later presented her Distinguished Lecture, “Heavy duty trucks: The challenge of getting to zero.”

Professor Brent Sleep, Chair of the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, and Professor Matthew Roorda, Chair of the Smart Freight Centre and Tier 2 Canada Research  Chair in Freight Transportation and Logistics, gave opening remarks and a warm welcome to Professor Giuliano and the 100+ attendees.

Following Dr. Giuliano’s keynote, guests Aman Johal of PRIDE Group Enterprises and Carolyn Kim of the Pembina Institute joined for a broad panel discussion and Q&A moderated by UTTRI Executive Director Dr. Judy Farvolden.


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.

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 panelists

screen shot of four panelists in discussion
Screen capture of panel discussion with (from top left, clockwise) Professor Genevieve Giuliano, Dr. Judy Farvolden, Aman Johal, Carolyn Kim. May 5, 2021.

Aman Johal is currently Vice President of PRIDE Group Enterprises. He has been a key member of Pride Group Enterprises since the starting of the company in 2010. He has worked within all business divisions of the company including Pride Truck Sales, TPine Leasing Capital, TPine Truck Rental Inc and Pride Group Logistics. Aman’s experience lies in sales, marketing, operations, finance and business management and most recently Aman has taken on leading the companies new venture into Electric Vehicles (Pride EV).

Carolyn Kim is the regional director of Ontario with the Pembina Institute, Canada’s foremost clean energy think tank on energy and environmental issues. She is a registered professional planner with transportation and land use planning experience from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. In her role, she brings her policy expertise and strong partnership-building skills to advance practical solutions that support a clean and efficient transportation system in Canada.


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