The future of trucking industry

Alright, so what’s the buzz about electric trucks? Why are electric semi trucks the future of trucking industry? Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about electric semi trucks.

Electric semi trucks: The future of trucking industry

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular among private individuals and corporations. Though only 6% of vehicles on the American roads are electric (roughly 3M vehicles), this number is rapidly increasing.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations increased by 63% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, accounting for roughly 7% of the market. The U.S. electric truck market size was $308.9 million in 2021, and it is expected to advance at an exponential CAGR of 54.0% during 2021–2030.

Future of Trucking Industry: Electric Semi Trucks

The following are the various reasons why electric trucks are the future

Although the transportation sector contributes up to 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, the main drive to electric trucks is the cost savings. Electric trucks are cheaper to run than traditional diesel trucks. This is because they use electricity, which costs less per mile than diesel fuel. A 2021 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimated a 13% lower total cost of ownership ($1.51 per mile) for an electric semi truck with a 375-mile range compared to its diesel counterpart ($1.73 per mile). This amounts to a net savings of $200,000 over the 15-year lifespan of the semi-truck. 

Another reason why electric trucks are the future is because diesel truck fumes are bad for health, and 18% of all the pollution from vehicles in the U.S. comes from regular semi trucks. Implementing zero-emission trucking could prevent 66,800 premature deaths, 1.75 million asthma attacks, and 8.5 million lost workdays between 2020 and 2050, providing $735 billion in cumulative U.S. public health benefits.

It’s common that some people think electric trucks can’t compete because they need to drive for long hours without stopping, refuel quickly, and stay as light as possible. But these claims are not true. Electric truck batteries are not as heavy as people think. They might add around 3 to 4 tons, which is only a small part of the total weight a truck can carry. Also, truck drivers have regulated rest breaks. During these breaks, electric trucks can recharge their batteries, making sure they’re ready for the next leg of the journey.

The shift to electric trucks is already taking place. Big companies like Wlamart, Pepsi Co, J.B. Hunt, UPS etc, have already started using electric trucks. In simple terms, electric trucks make sense because they’re cheaper, practical, and better for the environment – a win-win situation!

Government Initiatives

1. Federal Government Initiatives

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

  • If you own a fleet of electric trucks weighing more than 14,000 pounds, the IRA can give you up to $40,000 in tax credits for each truck you put into service.
  • An analysis by RMI suggests that the IRA will make electric trucks as affordable as diesel ones for short and long trips.
  • It extended the 30% tax credit for electric charging equipment and raised the limit to $100,000 per charger for businesses.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

  • Under this Act, states must make plans to build charging stations every 50 miles along special routes for alternative fuel vehicles.

2. State Government Initiatives

  • Fifteen governors and the mayor of Washington D.C. are on a mission to make all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold to electric by 2050. This shows a big push by states to promote cleaner trucks in the future.

Top electric semi truck manufacturers

ManufacturerBattery Range Engine powerTop speedTime Electric Truck
Mercedes-Benz GenH270 KW-H621 MI-1000 KM53 MPH-85 KPM952 HP30 Minutes
Scania Electric Truck624 KW-H217 MI-350 KM50 MPH-80 KPM560 HP90 Minutes
Volvo VNR Electric 565 KW-H150 MI-250 KM65 MPH-105 KPM455 HP70 Minutes
Nikola One720 KW-H310 MI-500 KM75 MPH-121 KPM645 HP10- 100% in 100 Minutes
Freightliner eCascadia550 KW-H250 MI-402 KM53 MPH-85 KPM730 HP80% in 90 Minutes
Lion8480 KW-H248 MI-480 KM65 MPH-105 KPM470 HP16 Hours
Kenworth T680 FCEV396 KW-H350 MI-563 KM65 MPH-105 KPM560 HP0-80% in 15 Minutes
Hyundai Xcient 72 KW-H248 MI-400 KM52 MPH-85 KPM469 HP10 Minutes
Tesla Semi500 KW-H300 MI-482 KM66 MPH-98 KPM1000 HP80% in 30 Minutes
Nikola Tre733 KW-H750 MI-1200 KM60 MPH-96 KPM335 HP15 Minutes
Top electric semi truck manufacturers

Challenges faced by current electric trucks

Electric semi trucks are a promising technology for the future of the trucking industry. However, they are not without their challenges. Here are some of the challenges faced by current electric semi-trucks:

  1. Charging infrastructure: The charging infrastructure for electric semi-trucks is still in its early stages of development. While there are 6,700 public DC fast-charging stations in the United States, most of them only serve passenger vehicles. The installation of charging stations can also exceed $100,000.
  1. Battery weight: Electric trucks are typically heavier due to the weight of their batteries, which can reduce payload capacity.
  1. Limited range: Electric semi trucks have a limited range compared to diesel trucks. They can travel only up to 500 miles on a single charge, while conventional trucks can travel up to 2,000 miles without refueling.
  1. Cold weather: Cold weather can affect the range of electric semi trucks. Batteries can lose up to 40% of their capacity in extremely cold weather.
  1. Replacement parts availability: Replacement parts for electric semi trucks are not as widely available as those for diesel trucks.
  1. Long time to charge: Recharge time for electric semi-trucks are substantially longer than diesel refueling times, typically 30 minutes to 1 hour while fueling time is just 5 to 10 minutes long. 

Conclusion

Despite its challenges electric semi trucks are reshaping the American trucking experience. Big players like Tesla and the US government are taking various steps to increase the current electric truck market value of 11.08 billion, and make the trucking industry completely electric.

Yoga Laxmi
Social Media Marketer at OpenFR8 | More posts

I am copyright writer with OpenFR8. I take a little bit of time to complete my blogs because I undergo research and analysis of each and every article to gather accurate information. For me, writing is not just a job; it feeds my creativity and desire to share insightful information with readers. As a writer, I like to present content that is valuable and easily understood by every individual. I believe in the power of words, and if they are used in a good manner, they can create many positive changes around us.

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