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In the past year, there has been a lot of buzz around the introduction of electric trucks and semi-trucks. Significant steps have been made to make this a reality and we are already seeing original equipment manufacturers like Daimler, Volvo and Hino rolling up their sleeves to get their electric vehicles into the market as fast as possible. In the last decade, the trucking industry has seen drastic changes in technological and operational systems that have left tongues wagging at how fast-paced the otherwise snail-speed automobile industry has become.
Despite such advances, a report by NACFE (North American Council for Freight Efficiency) is quick to point out that battery-electric vehicles will not serve every market and job area. Classes 7 through 8 may be viable for longer distances and bigger loads, but their versatility for all roles is still open for debate. Improvements on battery capacities and charging time, cost, and weight are expected from manufacturers on regular terms. The transition from traditional diesel, gasoline, and other alternative fuel vehicles to the electric ones is projected to spread over decades.
Going forward, we expect to see fleets running mixed vehicles – diesel, natural gas, hybrid, and battery-electric vehicles. Hydrogen-electric trucks and semi-trucks are also attracting interest as well. Newcomers like Nikola and even Bosch released their 10-wheel and 6-wheel truck versions into the market in April and are already working with Anheuser-Busch as one of their distributors.
With the low electric vehicle numbers out there in the real world, it is still too early to celebrate. But there are signs of great times ahead and NACFE has hinted to this by giving releasing a detailed report on what to expect with this new technology while at the same time providing fleet managers with valuable guidelines on owning and running battery electric vehicles
Electric trucks and semi trucks are here and will be part and parcel of many fleets henceforth.
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