Electric Commercial Trucks Are Coming Soon
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If you've been waiting for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution to come to the truck industry, you're in luck. Several manufacturers are bringing electric commercial trucks to the market by 2022.
According to Autoweek, electrified commercial trucks, including big rigs, small delivery vehicles, and school buses, are all in the works. Major automakers are getting electric trucks ready for market, and some of those vehicles are already on the road after a slight delay due to the pandemic.
Let’s talk about some of the questions swirling around electric trucks. How expensive will they be? Are long-haul trips viable with electric trucks? How much will car insurance cost?
Top electric commercial truck manufacturers
As reported by Autoweek, Daimler Trucks North America owns 40% of the North American heavy-duty truck market. Daimler owns Freightliner and Thomas Built Buses. Thomas Built electric school buses are already available, and over 50 have been sold.
Freightliner has a highly successful big rig: the Cascadia. This truck is the basis for Freightliner’s new electric eCascadia. Other electric trucks in development include the smaller Freightliner eM2, and a Walk-In Van for local deliveries.
Volvo is another key player in the electric truck field. Autoweek reported that its new VNR Electric Class 8 trucks will be used by a foodservice supplier in Southern California for last-mile deliveries. Although they make up a small portion of the company's fleet, they represent the changes that electric trucks will bring to commercial transportation.
Tesla is also working on a Semi which might be released once they have enough batteries for the trucks. With the largest companies pushing out more electric commercial trucks, it’ll be easier for the industry to switch to electric.
Pros and cons of electric trucks
Fleets of quieter trucks will positively impact the quality of life in neighborhoods with heavy truck traffic. If enough companies add electric trucks to their fleets, the overall reduction in emissions would be helpful for the environment. But, switching to an electric fleet will likely depend on costs instead of the environmental benefits.
The upfront price of an electric truck can be two or three times the cost compared to a conventional truck. Companies will be able to recoup these costs within a few years, given the fuel savings and reduced maintenance costs. However, it's still going to be a major initial investment that might make companies hesitant to switch.
Don Ake, an industry expert quoted in Autoweek, says that many companies may not adopt EVs until environmental regulations force them to. As for the actual feasibility of switching fleets to electric, it's going to depend heavily on how quickly the infrastructure can change to meet demand.
Electric trucks are going to need convenient charging stations, and those stations are going to require a lot of power. Mechanics may also need extra training to prepare for an increase of electric trucks.
Some experts predict that the first wave of electric truck adoption will include smaller trucks intended for local deliveries. They require smaller batteries and get more benefits from electrification technology like regenerative braking, which can help recharge your vehicle.
Car insurance for electric vehicles
It's likely that the future of fleets will include an increasing number of electric trucks, mirroring what we've seen with personal vehicles. Currently, tax incentives and discounts for green vehicles can help reduce the costs of buying one.
Car insurance costs for EVs can be more expensive than rates for gas-powered cars. As EVs become more mainstream, they’ll likely become more affordable.
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