For a long time, the transport industry has relied on fossil fuels, namely diesel, to fuel trucks for long haul journeys. Now, with growing concern over the environmental impact and the need for sustainable solutions, electric trucks are appearing to be a promising alternative.
What are the benefits?
- Environmental Benefits: Electric trucks are significantly more environmentally friendly than diesel trucks. They produce zero exhaust emissions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the air quality. With governments and regulatory bodies now adopting an increasing focus on sustainability and lowering environmental impacts, switching to electric trucks provides an opportunity for a given transportation company or department to make a straightforward change that helps align them with that focus.
- Lower Costs long term: Using electric trucks can provide substantial cost savings across their lifespan. While their initial purchase might be more expensive than purchasing a diesel truck, an electric truck will have a lower operating cost due to the lower cost of electricity compared to diesel fuel. They should also have less downtime for maintenance than a diesel truck as they have fewer moving parts, and do not require oil changes. With time, these savings present the ability to offset the higher upfront purchase cost, arguably making them as financially viable as diesel trucks, over the long term.
- Less Auditory Disturbance: Electric trucks will be quieter running than trucks with ICEs (internal combustion engines). This means they can pass through or by urban areas with a reduced level of disturbance to residents.
What are the concerns?
- Range: One of the current concerns for the use of electric trucks in long haul transportation is their range. Innovations in the battery field, and the growing support of companies like econetiQ who enable the expansion of electric charging infrastructure, mean that range is becoming less of a concern for electric trucks . Furthermore, 80% of road freight activity in Europe is performed on trips below 800km. With improved energy density in batteries and an improved network of chargers, electric trucks should be viable for a significant portion of long-haul trips in the area, recharging during the periods of mandatory rest that the driver will be taking anyway.
- The Weight of the Battery: The batteries currently used in electric trucks are heavy. This added weight means that an electric truck will have a lower payload capacity than a truck using an ICE.
What can we expect?
In the very near future, electric trucks will become viable for the major parts of the long-haul sector. With the environmental and cost saving benefits ‘that ‘going electric’ represents, freight carriers can be reassured that making the transition to EV leads to a greener and more efficient transportation sector.
Technology businesses also have a prime opportunity to develop competitive battery solutions that address the needs of long-haul electric trucks. This can showcase their commitment to sustainable practices, whilst gaining a competitive image-borne edge in the market.
With continued support from companies like econetiQ that are working to expand the available charging infrastructure, ‘range anxiety’ will soon be a concern of the past. Contact us here if you have an enquiry about our charging solutions.
Author: Connor Clarke, Marketing Associate, econetiQ
Connor is a green-conscious content writer based in Bristol. As an advocate for clean energy solutions, Connor is dedicated to inspiring and educating people to involve themselves in the EV industry.