Medium-duty trucks seem on the verge of embracing a quick deployment of truck electrification projects. However, that progress has been delayed by a number of issues including infrastructure, weight problems, and range limitations. Consequently, these factors
Jim Castelaz, the
Motiv has produced two wildly individual chassis as part of its EPIC chassis program. Moreover, it’s electric powertrain has been installed in a number of vehicles, ranging from delivery vans and buses, to shuttles and refuse trucks.
Castelaz emphasized the key to driver adoption of the technology is the lower price for battery packs. Currently, they run for about $197 per kilowatt hour. He calls these sub-$200 battery packs “game-changers.”
Medium Duty Application
Officials agree that for the near future, medium-duty applications is the sweet spot for electric. As they see it, the biggest obstacles to overcome for electric center around range anxiety and infrastructure. Moreover, when it comes to medium-duty trucks, these issues really aren’t in play. Typically this size truck has fixed routes with many stops and starts.
Bill Combs, director of Connected Fleet for Penske Truck Leasing, agrees with medium-duty trucks being the best place to start with electrification. He suggests that getting these vehicles in the hands of customers is key. This way they can learn what works and what doesn’t. In other words, the goal is to max out on the vehicles productivity.
Sure, electric trucks reduce pollution, minimize fuel costs, maintenance and noise. But the unknown with these trucks is how they will perform in everyday situations amongst real truck fleets that are hauling real goods. Until they get out on the road this will remain a mystery.
One fact is agreed upon by all truck companies; the electrification of trucks is absolutely vital to our future. They may not solve all the world’s problems, but as an essential component to our economy, electrifying trucks truly can be a game-changer.