Running Electric Trucks and Keeping Them Charged

running electric trucks and keeping them charged

With all of the hype around the development of electric trucks becoming the norm in the future, the method of running electric trucks and keeping them charged is going to radically change operational choices. The building of the new infrastructure to support them will be a priority.

The refuelling infrastructure for the trucking industry has barely changed in the last fifty years. Service stations have got bigger and are now more like small supermarkets, but the basic reason for their existence remains as it was when the transport industry moved from horsepower to internal combustion engine power, to get liquid fuel into the tank.

As the zero emissions policies move forward the emphasis will change. The front runners to replace diesel as the main source of energy are electric and hydrogen power. Both of these have different characteristics and different functions in the trucking industry. 

Electric power is the most likely technology to be used in the city environments and on the vast majority of short range tasks. Small electric fast charging stations have been popping up around our cities in the last few years to cater for the small but growing band of Tesla and other electric car buyers. These are often placed in small sites in difficult to get to car parks and dotted around in the inner city.

running electric trucks and keeping them charged

This may work for big city office workers and their small cars, but are not going to work for the transport industry. Most of the electric vehicles working in the city are likely to be those which are back to base at the end of every shift. The fast or slow chargers back at the yard are the most likely methods of delivery for the basic electric powered option.

For the electric car companies, especially in markets like Europe and the US, the emphasis has been in setting up as many visible charging points as possible, in order to stimulate sales of electric cars. When potential buyers regularly see charging points dotted around the city, they begin to feel secure about being able to recharge easily.

For electric truck manufacturers the problem is going to be more difficult. In order to sell an electric truck into a fleet any charging infrastructure will need to be in place before the truck begins to operate. Early adopters are likely to be larger fleets where the number of trucks involved would justify the building of charging infrastructure to keep the trucks on the road. If the operation needs fast charging, the investment needed will be substantial and some innovative funding solutions may be needed to get electric truck sales over the line.

running electric trucks and keeping them charged

As the move towards electric power does take hold, diesel sales will decline correspondingly. This may stimulate service stations to develop charging infrastructure on their existing sites to keep up business revenue.

At this point in time it is difficult to predict just how fast this transition is likely to take. In the USA, where the process has been going on for some time, one of the suppliers of recharging systems, Tritium, predicts there will be 30 million electric trucks and buses in 2030. This will mean a fast transition will be required to keep up with fast growing demand. 

running electric trucks and keeping them charged

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