Electric truck deployments could jump tenfold as interest surges, study says

Electric truck deployments could jump tenfold as interest surges, study says

Electric truck deployments could jump tenfold as interest surges, study says

  • As of December, the U.S. has deployed 1,215 zero-emissions vehicles that are Class 2b through Class 8. But this number is likely to increase more than 10 times in the next 10 years, according to a study released by Calstart on Wednesday.
  • There are around 140,000 orders for zero-emission trucks that have not been delivered yet. The study found that these trucks will be delivered within one to ten years.
  • More people are choosing to buy zero-emission trucks. This is a good sign that the market for these trucks is growing. However, adoption of these trucks by heavier commercial vehicles is still low.

According to the report, there is reason to be optimistic about the future of zero-emission trucks. However, it also notes that this transition may not be evenly represented nationwide. As of December 2021, more than half of all trucks with zero emissions — 738 — are in California. This is because state and local officials in California are aggressively asking the industry to begin the transition.

There are 113 deployments of zero-emission trucks in New York and 70 in Texas. However, there are only 24 states with no deployments of zero-emission trucks, even in lighter classes. These states include Kentucky, Alabama and Nevada.

California has been a leader in promoting the use of zero-emission trucks. This is not surprising, as the state wants to reduce emissions from vehicles. California has offered grants for owners of battery-electric trucks and hydrogen fueling stations. In addition, New York recently passed a rule requiring the use of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks by the end of 2021.

Battery-electric trucks have a shorter range than fuel-cell-electric vehicles. This is why short trips are seen as a strong business case for deployment. And while California is a big state, it's ideal for these types of vehicles because of the distances people travel.

The San Pedro Bay ports are important because they handle 40% of the goods that come into the United States. Goods that come in go to nearby warehouses. Shorter trips from the docks to the warehouses are candidates for electric trucks. Electric truck models are often shown at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach.

Overall, the national transition appears to be happening first in lighter trucks. Out of all the deployments, almost half (598) are medium duty. Heavy-duty trucks number 47, while yard tractors have 237 and medium-duty step vans have 203.

However, many large fleets understand that there is a public demand for transitioning to Class 8 trucks. In September, Schneider announced their plans to add 50 Freightliner eCascadias to their intermodal operations in Southern California. These trucks are part of the carrier's sustainability plan which focuses on using intermodal transportation.

Another factor that may lead to more orders is the decreasing price of batteries. "As sales and production of commercial zero-emission vehicles increase and manufacturers are able to provide battery producers with higher levels of demand and certainty, battery-pack prices are expected to decline," according to the report. This will bring the total cost of ownership closer to diesel-fueled trucks.

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