Electric vehicles are the future of commercial trucking and manufacturers are struggling to satisfy the growing demand from customers as they continue to test and develop the new technology.
“Waiting for electric vehicles is like seeing the sign at the bar that says, ‘Free beer tomorrow,’ ” UPS director of maintenance and engineering told Transport Topics. “I know it’s not easy, but we’re waiting again for something to hit the market that really sets the tone and the benchmark of what ‘good’ is going to look like.”
Electric trucks are believed to be particularly suitable for light- and medium-duty applications, with experts indicating that such vehicles would be similar in cost to their diesel counterparts.
“A year from now, we’ll be able to talk more specifically about the results of some of these electric trucks,” North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) Executive Director Mike Roeth told Transport Topics. “This is not a fad. It’s not going away. It’s really happening.”
Electric trucks have a number of advantages. In addition to eliminating fuel consumption and carbon emissions (which many large companies are becoming more and more concerned about), electric vehicles have a less complicated structure than diesel vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America states, for example, that Class 6-8 electric trucks have approximately 8,000 moving parts; diesel trucks in the same classes have around 30,000.
Daimler Trucks North America CEO Roger Nielsen was clear at this year’s Advanced Clean Transportation Expo: “I believe the future is electric.”