Are electric trucks ready to be on the road?
The next evolution of the trucking industry, and even transportation as a whole, is seemingly going to be fully electric.
In an attempt to curtail the effects that vehicle emissions have on climate change, electric vehicles will continue to grow in popularity around the world, including in the trucking industry.
Some electric commercial vehicles have already begun to be introduced, as Tesla’s Semi and Freightliner’s eCascadia have been some of the most prominent trucks that have been on display.
However, the efficiency of electric trucks has been called into question by many throughout the industry, as their mileage yields are still quite low while loaded.
Tesla’s Semi can currently travel 300-500 miles on a single charge, which if true, can be huge for the industry. Nonetheless, the eCascadia can currently only travel 250 miles before requiring a charge, which is less than stellar.
Before these trucks hit the market, it will be paramount for them to be able to travel far distances before needing a full charge, especially considering that their charging time can take anywhere from 30 to upwards of 90 minutes.
With that said, electric truck pilot programs have begun to spring up, as the technology gets close to being commercially viable.
Werner, one of the nation’s largest carriers, has plans to officially kick-off “its first electric-powered truck pilot program this year,” according to CCJ.
Using a 2019 Peterbilt 579 EV Class 8 electric truck, Werner will be utilizing the truck throughout the year locally in Southern California. Nonetheless, the truck’s capabilities, for now, do not reach the heights of the Semi or eCascadia.
While it can similarly haul up to 80,000 pounds, the truck requires a 5 to 10-hour charge time and can only drive up to 150 miles on one charge.
The mileage can be efficient for driving locally, but there are still ways to go before electric trucks can be efficient for long haul drivers. Nevertheless, we’ll see what kind of results the truck is able to yield throughout 2020.
So, what do you think about the future of electric trucks? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
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