*Image courtesy of The Verge
It’s not just talk anymore. Electric trucks are here to stay. And, they require certain infrastructure to be established to ensure uninterrupted usage. Thor is demonstrating heavy- and medium-duty trucks while Tesla’s Semi tractors are scheduled to hit the roads this year. Large companies like Walmart and UPS are lining up to place orders and even online retailer Amazon has invested in electric pickup truck maker Rivian.
Most major truck manufacturers are developing their own electric trucks, and global annual sales are estimated to reach more than 330,000 by 2026. The transition to a zero-emission fleet is happening faster than many fleet owners anticipated and there is a lot to consider. The most important factors being what vehicles to purchase and which charging solution will best suit their needs.
So, Why Move To EV’s?
There are a whole host of reasons why electric trucks are becoming more desirable:
- They’re less expensive to fuel.
- Their engines cost less to maintain compared to combustion engines.
- Battery costs are significantly cheaper and the price continues to drop as technology improves.
- It’s projected that the majority of electric trucks will reach cost parity with diesel by 2025.
- Government incentives and utility investments are bringing down purchase costs for vehicles and charging infrastructure.
Charging Systems: Which To Choose
The process of choosing a charging system is a lot like choosing a new software system. An EV charging solution should meet the current needs of your fleet while remaining cost effective as it scales and grows with you.
Here are some tips to help you choose the solution that’s right for you:
- Go with the system that provides the highest power possible. DC fast chargers are best for fleets and run from 50kW to 150-475kW (the high-powered charging range).
- Think long-term when it comes to cost savings. Highly efficient chargers lose less energy, which translates to significant savings over time. You’ll also want to make sure your chargers can maintain their performance in all kinds of inclement weather and temperatures. Liquid-cooled and sealed units will save you additional money because they keep out dirt and rain, thus reducing maintenance costs.
- ROI and sharing. Optimize the usage of your charger and get a return on your investment quicker by turning your charging stations into a revenue generator. Consider serving the general public or another fleet’s vehicles if you’re not using your chargers all the time.
- Scalability. Like we said above, your charging infrastructure must be able to grow with you. One thing to ask your service provider is if their solution allows you to add charging power or more chargers easily and inexpensively to accommodate additional vehicles.
- Flexibility. Since fleets typically include multiple vehicle classes, makes and models, your charging system should able to power all of them and work with any charging standard.
- Choose a supportive and proactive provider. Fixing technical problems isn’t enough for us. When selecting a provider, we encourage you to ask them whether or not they monitor the technology to spot problems before they arise and prevent/fix them before they become an issue. You will also want a provider that will help you through the installation and initial troubleshooting process.
There are so many upsides to using electric trucks in your fleets. But, there are also many things to consider. Stay informed and be as well-researched as possible. Talk to other fleet’s to see what their best practices are, what solutions they opted for, and why. What electric vehicles and charging systems are you considering?
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and trends from the team at Thunder Funding!