Which electric truck will lead the trucking industry?
Electric trucks may well be a hot commodity in the years to come, and there’s likely not going to be any shortage of options on the market.
A multitude of major truck manufacturers have already thrown their hat in the ring. With many of their electric semi-trucks still in the early stages of being deployed, there is still an abundance of questions concerning the viability of electric trucks.
One of the major issues with using an electric truck is going to be the batteries. As of now, the trucks are likely to be slightly inefficient for traveling long distances.
The Freightliner eCascadia, which is expected to begin production in 2021, can only travel 250 miles on a single charge. With that range, many long haul truckers will find themselves recharging their trucks constantly.
However, the same goes for Volvo’s line of VNR electric trucks, though they’re generally marketed as trucks for regional use.
Volvo’s eVNR can currently drive 175 miles while fully loaded, which for regional use can be efficient. Additionally, Volvo will be testing these trucks in partnership with Dependable Highway Express (DHE) throughout 2020.
Nonetheless, Tesla’s Semi has been one of the better trucks in terms of mileage. As of now, Tesla has announced two trucks, which can travel 300 and 600 miles, respectively.
While they can still use further battery upgrades, they’re easily the best fully-electric trucks in terms of mileage. However, according to Freight Waves, the company is still looking to improve its battery life for the Semi.
While they work on improving their trucks, though, it looks like Tesla is aiming to get trucks on the road in “limited volumes” sometime in 2020.
Similarly to Volvo’s eVNR, Peterbilt also partnered with Meritor and Werner to get electric trucks on the road this year. Using a 2019 Peterbilt 579 EV Class 8 that is fully electric, Werner will be exclusively utilizing the truck to complete shipments in Los Angeles.
Currently, the truck is estimated to be able to drive for 150 miles before needing a recharge and can be charged within an hour if a fast-charging system is being utilized. Otherwise, the truck may take 5 to 10 hours in order to fully charge.
Nikola Motors has also been at the forefront of innovation with its electric trucks, as its Nikola One, Nikola Two, and Nikola Tre are anticipated to yield between 500-700 miles. Nonetheless, Nikola’s trucks will either be fully electric or powered with hydrogen fuel cell electric capabilities.
Nikola Motors has stated that it plans to start fully producing their trucks in 2021.
Overall, electric trucks still have ways to go in terms of mileage efficiency. On average, most electric trucks will need anywhere between 1 to 2 hours in order to get a 100 percent charge.
And without further infrastructure ready in order to support charging trucks throughout the United States, the issue is only complicated.
However, the trucking industry could be in the midst of a shift at the local level, as the current crop of electric trucks seems to be able to function perfectly fine while driving regionally.
So, what do you think is the best option? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
To keep up with the latest industry news, subscribe to our monthly newsletter!