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Electrifying Trucks: The Lifeblood of Commerce

1/17/18 - Hugo Romero

 

By Hannon Rasool

Attention Trucking Companies: Don’t miss this interesting article about how electric trucks have evolved and are now viable economically and could even save you money while reducing carbon emissions.

Trucks are the lifeblood of commerce. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the San Diego region, where the economy thrives on the movement of goods between the United States and Mexico. While the truck traffic is vital to our region’s economy, it’s also a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that with today’s advanced battery technology, businesses can both save money in operating costs and reduce local vehicle emissions by switching to electric trucks.

In recent years, electric vehicle (“EV”) technology – particularly battery technology – has come down significantly in cost, while also improving in performance. As a result, the passenger EV market has blossomed, and the medium and heavy-duty EV market is emerging. Tesla’s recent unveiling of its Class 8 semi-truck has generated lots of excitement around medium-duty and heavy-duty EVs. The Tesla semi is expected to hit roads in 2019. Observers expected the vehicle to have a range of 200 miles. However, it beat the expectations of some analysts. According to Tesla’s website, the larger battery model will be able to travel 500 miles between charges. The base model (300-mile range) is expected to come in at $150k, also beating expectations by analysts. The most exciting part is that the total cost of ownership is projected to be better than incumbent vehicles due to much lower maintenance and fuel costs. Major players are already lining up to receive the vehicle. Reservations and deposits have been made by United Parcel Service (“UPS”) (125 trucks), PepsiCo (100 trucks), Sysco (50 trucks), Anheuser-Busch (40 trucks) and others. Tesla is not alone in targeting this market. They face competition from Daimler Fuso, Navistar International, Volkswagen, Cummins, BYD, and others.

Better than expected vehicle costs and range are one part of the puzzle. Another piece of the puzzle is the growing EV charging network in California. The state’s three major electric utilities have put forth EV charging infrastructure programs that will provide charging infrastructure for reduced or no cost to the customer. Additionally, California has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the up-front cost of medium-duty and heavy-duty electric vehicles of all weight classes. More information on programs and incentives can be found here.

 

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