Electric Trucks: The Next Step For EVs
The companies pioneering the EV market are constantly coming up with new innovations and ideas. One of the latest and most innovative of these is the concept of electric long-haul trucks. Whilst diesel trucks make up just a small percentage of motor vehicles, they are responsible for almost one-third of motor vehicle CO2. Making them an effective target in strategies to combat climate change, and given the huge economic and environmental benefits, the case for long-haul electric trucking is stronger than ever before.
Heavy battery powered freight trucks used to have a limited role to play in strategies against climate change due to high energy use and expensive batteries. Researchers have found that the use of a smaller sized batteries would play an important part in making these trucks economically competitive. However, the main issue that is getting in the way of electric trucks becoming feasible is the lack of charging stations. The implication of a European-wide fast charging infrastructure that would be required for personal EVs is making the widespread electrification of trucking far more realistic. Additionally, the case for small battery trucks will become much stronger once more fast charging points become available. This could act as an incentive to policymakers and the private sector to focus on expanding this infrastructure to encourage take-up of electric trucks as part of national decarbonisation plans.
Many of the world’s biggest truck manufacturers (Ford, Volvo, and Scania to name a few) pledged in December 2020 that they would no longer produce diesel trucks from 2040, however that their biggest concern was “access to electricity grids with adequate capacity”. In turn the European manufacturers’ association ACEA and the environmental organisation T&E have recently announced goals to install 11,000 charging points for electric trucks by 2025, with plans for the network to grow to 42,000 charging points by 2030. The economics of these trucks being implemented successfully would be huge for the industry itself. Researchers have found that an electric truck has a 13% per mile lower cost of ownership with an average net savings of around USD$200,000 over the lifetime of the truck - and this figure is predicted to rise to 50% per mile lower cost of ownership. It signals a huge opportunity for fleet services and electric trucks in the near and foreseeable future - we hope uptake and roll-out lives up to expectations.