The question on the lips of many in the trucking industry is do electric trucks make sense? The answer, this year, is probably no, but what about next year? Or the year after that, the world of electric power is changing fast and we are at a tipping point, where they may start to make sense.
All of the experts are telling us there is an inevitability to the introduction of electric trucks. This is a true, but knowing something is inevitable stable doesn’t help a trucking operation on tight margins and with tight capital constraints. It’s not not whether it is going to happen, it’s more about when it is likely to happen.
According to Isuzu the time is now. Last week the Japanese truck maker unveiled two prototype electric trucks at the MEGATRANS2018 event in Melbourne. The company is embarking upon an evaluation program to see just where electric trucks are starting to make sense.
The basic technology is here and it works well. The world has been using electric motors for quite a while now. It is a mature technology and the pricing is stable and relatively low.
On the other hand, the world of batteries is changing fast, unfortunately many of the batteries are not charging fast. Lithium ion battery technology has come a long way and every year the units are getting smaller, lighter or more powerful. This is the development which is bringing us to the next tipping point, when the battery is light enough and can hold enough charge. Then the tare weight of the truck can match the diesel we currently use and the range of the truck can be extended to something a little more practical.
Electric trucks do make sense in some circumstances and, as the technology develops, will begin to make even more sense.
When is the right time to jump on the electric bandwagon? Wait for it!