Electric trucks pick up speed despite bumpy road

Volvo is testing electric trucks at their factory in Gothenburg.

Electric trucks pick up speed despite bumpy road

Electric heavy trucks are being mass produced by manufacturers, but they have a long way to go before they replace diesels.

Sandra Finer, Vice President of Operations at the Swedish Site, explains: "This is the difference."

When building the electric truck, we dock the module electric instead of the engine.
diesel trucks

Electric heavy trucks have now been mass-produced in Europe, North America, and China. They are being rolled out quicker than expected. However it will be some time before they surpass the number of polluting diesel vehicles.

"It's an exciting time for electric trucks," Felipe Rodriguez said, an expert independent at the analysis group International Council on Clean Transportation.

"Four or five years back, people would've said, 'You are crazy, this is not going to happen.' Diesel is the king. It can't be beat', he said.

Electric heavy trucks need massive amounts of power to move their heavy loads. This raises questions about the range and charging capabilities.

These terminals need to be dozens of time more powerful than the ones made for electric vehicles.

Volvo Trucks didn't need to modify its production lines to accommodate electric models.

Electric trucks are more expensive. According to experts, they cost between two and three times as much as a diesel truck.

The price of electricity is expected to drop, and the initial cost can be offset with lower running costs.

Race to Launch

The sector is resolute to continue despite the massive Chinese government support for its manufacturers.

Rodriguez stated that "the industry has come to the realization that it will not be possible to continue using diesel engines for a long time."

There is a race on to develop and launch electric trucks onto the market.

According to trade experts, a small percentage of heavy trucks are sold on the main world markets. This is just one or two per cent, and 40,000 to 50 000 units were sold in China.

Electric heavy trucks are currently more expensive than diesel heavy trucks, but the price is expected fall.

The main Western truck manufacturers--Germany Daimler and Man; Sweden Volvo and its French subsidiary Renault Trucks; and the other Swedish maker Scania- have invested heavily.

The "Semi", a model that promises a range up to 500 miles (800 km), is also looking to enter the e-truck sector.

Global truck sales are estimated to be more than 200 billion dollars per year, with nearly six million trucks sold.

Roger Alm, the head of Volvo Group Trucks, said that by 2030, 50% of Volvo Trucks' volume should be emissions-free, and that by 2040, all of Volvo Trucks' sales should be emissions-free.

According to the ICCT, this level is more or less the minimum required to meet the Paris Agreement's objectives to decarbonise the road transport sector.

The ICTT estimates per kilometer.

The carbon footprint of a truck powered by electricity is about two-thirds less than a truck powered by diesel.

To recharge electric trucks quickly enough, they need charging stations that are much more powerful.

Spreading across the globe

According to ICCT, electric trucks will account for 90% of the truck market in 2040.

Alm stated that the growth of this technology has been accelerating in northern Europe and North America.

"Now, it's expanding into the southern parts Europe, and we have new markets in Africa. For example, Australia, Brazil.

Volvo, the second largest truck manufacturer in the world, and other manufacturers have agreed to participate in a large European project to increase truck charging stations. This is one of the weaknesses that are currently holding back the adoption of electric trucks.

Rodriguez said that to quickly charge an electric truck, charging stations must have a capacity greater than five megawatts.

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