There were only 2,000 electric trucks on US roads at the end of 2019, but new research from analysts Wood Mackenzie suggest that number will soar to more than 54,000 by 2025.
The new analysis from US-based energy analysts Wood Mackenzie suggests the US electric truck industry will immediately benefit from recent policy and financial support and global energy transition goals, driving significant growth in the near-term.
“Compared to passenger electric vehicle (EV) and electric bus penetration levels, the electric truck market is still in its infancy,” said Kelly McCoy, Wood Mackenzie Research Analyst. Further, the US electric truck market is only now receiving the same government and financial support that has long been available to the passenger and public transit sectors.
However, as McCoy continues, “Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MDV/HDV) are the second largest contributor to US transportation emissions, but much of the emissions reduction efforts thus far have centred on new diesel technologies and hybrids rather than pure electrification.”
According to Wood Mackenzie’s latest analysis, the number of MDV and HDV electric charging units connected to the grid are expected to increase exponentially over the next few years.
Wood Mackenzie expects the number of electric truck charging outlets will also increase to 48,000 by 2025 – paving the way for the increased number of electric trucks they envision on US roads by the same time.
“Planning for this huge growth in electric truck charging infrastructure needs to take into consideration the size of the electric fleet, hardware and installation costs, charging technologies and battery size,” says McCoy.
“However, unlike most other EV segments, electric trucks have a few distinctive considerations when it comes to charging.
“The range of most commercially available electric trucks is sufficient for their current applications (<300 miles). Since over 68% of city and regional Class 8 trucks are parked for more than 6 hours each day, many electric trucks may be able to rely on Level 2 chargers. Electric trucks with larger batteries or shorter dwell times will likely require DCFCs to satisfy their charging needs.
“Freight and cargo facilities were not designed to accommodate EV chargers. Chargers can be installed at truck parking spaces like how public chargers are sited today. However, trucks also spend significant amounts of time at loading docks and these tight spaces do not have room for a charger. Spaces like this will likely have to be redesigned to accommodate chargers.
“Finally, to minimize costs associated with installation, EV chargers should be sited near the transformer and load panel. Chargers located in parking lots may require extra conduit and trenching expenses,” added McCoy.
There remain barriers to mass adoption of electric trucks and the necessary charging infrastructure, however Wood Mackenzie sees the US industry working to combat these roadblocks. For example, the Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project aims to design the ideal regional electric truck configuration.
““Utilities have an opportunity to provide advisory services to fleet operators as they consider electrification, particularly as it relates to installing and operating charging infrastructure within the capacity constraints of the grid.
“Offering incentive programs in exchange for data collection enables utilities to study in detail the exact impacts of heavy-duty electrification on the local distribution grid,” said McCoy.