Electric Semi-Trucks-So Much Innovation in the Pipeline
In an effort to cut down on carbon emissions, one of the largest contributors has always been tractor-trailers (semis). Typically the average automobile is on the road a few hours a day getting anywhere from 15 miles per gallon of fuel to 50 miles per gallon. A semi-truck is on the road 11 hours a day and getting as low as 6 to 8 miles to the gallon. The progression to an electrified semi-truck is well underway.
The Progression of Electrified Semi-Trucks
Over the past decade, there have been many trucks that have been converted to electric power. The most notable was the Tesla Semi, which was unveiled in 2017. This truck had a range of 500 miles on a single charge and could go from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds without a trailer attached. The Tesla Semi also had several safety features, including enhanced braking and autopilot capabilities. While the Tesla Semi was never put into production, it did show that electric semi-trucks were viable and sparked interest in the potential for electrification in the trucking industry.
Other companies are also investing in electric trucks. Daimler, the parent company of Freightliner, recently debuted its own all-electric truck called the eCascadia. This truck has a range of up to 250 miles and can be charged up to 80% in 90 minutes using DC fast charging.
Daimler is also working on a longer-range version of this truck that will have a range of 400 miles. Volvo has also announced plans to release an electric truck in Europe by 2020. This truck will have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) and will be able to recharge up to 80% in one hour using DC fast charging.
The Benefits of Electric Trucks
Electric trucks offer many potential benefits over their diesel counterparts. For one, they produce zero emissions, which is better for both air quality and public health. Electric trucks are also more efficient than diesel trucks, meaning they require less energy to travel the same distance. This results in both lower operating costs and fewer greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the truck. In addition, electric trucks are quieter than diesel trucks, which may lead to increased public acceptance of these vehicles.
While electric trucks still make up a small fraction of the overall truck market, there is no doubt that they are gaining popularity. With their many potential benefits, it's likely that we'll see even more electrified semi-trucks on the road in the years to come.