Electronic run vehicles have rapidly been growing in popularity over the last few years. China as well as the European Union has been pushing towards the shift to electronic vehicles in order to minimize reliance on diesel and take steps toward a cleaner environment. This sudden influx of technology has now crossed the pond leading to 500,000+ electric cars sold throughout the United States. The growing demand for electric passenger vehicles has now led to manufactures to work on producing an all-electric semi-truck.
In theory, the addition of this type of equipment to the transportation industry could be revolutionary but it doesn’t come without its own set of hurtles to overcome. First, an all-electric heavy-duty truck will need the range and battery power to complete cross country shipments. Creating this type of power and battery life poses challenges but these trucks may be appearing on the roads sooner than you think.
In 2015, BMW put an all-electric 40 ton truck on the road in Germany. The following year, Mercedes-Benz developed a truck that can haul 28,000lbs over a 124 mile stretch with only one charge. Do to the success of this test run, Mercedes-Benz plans on testing several of these trucks for a consecutive twelve months to fully vet all challenges that may incur with this new technology. After testing is complete, the data gathered will be applied to optimizing the vehicles so they can be on the market for sale by 2020.
Other manufacturers such as Tesla are also working on creating this Eco-friendly, cost efficient trucks. They are focused on developing an all-electric, heavy duty semi which is capable of larger, heavy shipments. This type of truck will consist of several model 3 motors, the same type you would find in a sedan. This truck is expected to be in production within the next four years. Although there are still questions as to the battery pack Tesla will use to accomplish this, they are determined to compete with the technology Mercedes-Benz and BMW have created.
Another issue manufactures face is the need for updated infrastructure at the supercharger stations. These stations will need to accommodate the charging of these semi-trucks which is necessary in order to allow electric trucks to function throughout a given shipment route. Aside from the financial impact, based on the success of passenger vehicles charging stations, there are no foreseen issues with company’s establishing and implementing the required infrastructure.
The presences of electric powered trucks are projected to increase throughout the industry all over the world. And even though they have the ability to minimize emissions and provide long term cost savings, they most likely will not replace traditional trucks any time soon. Not only must the new technology and infrastructure be embraced, but the awareness of the environmental impact trucks are currently making must take on a presence within an industry that has always run the same way – on diesel.