It’s time. At the very least, it’s time to dive into the pool of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). There are several reasons why you should do this. On the one hand, the trucks are available to order. On the other hand, several cities and states set targets for the percentage of vehicles that must produce zero emissions. . And we are learning more and more every day about the most relevant applications for BEVs.
In the first Bootcamp training of the NACFE, What drives electric trucks, we have learned that there is an increase in the availability of BEV models, that the political momentum is on the BEV side, that vehicle and battery costs continue to drop, and that the necessary charging infrastructure is under construction.
During the Bootcamp, we learned that there are potential benefits for fleets switching to BEVs. These include increased uptime, reduced operating costs, improved corporate image, reduced maintenance, reduced number of components, reduced noise and vibration, better driver retention, compliance with environmental requirements and increased efficiency and productivity.
That’s a lot of advantages, but I must be clear that at this stage of their development, BEVs are not suitable for all applications. But I think you can say that about any new technology. This is where BEVs make sense: in applications under 200 miles, where cargo cubes come out, those with stop-start duty cycles, and those where trucks drive home every night.
At NACFE, we understand that trucks are business tools and therefore there has to be a return on investment, and today without incentives this might not be possible. But we also believe that we will continue to see improvements in the vehicles themselves and in the increase in purchases. As more and more people try BEVs, the prices should come down.
If your duty cycle matches the one mentioned above, at least put your toe in it and bring a BEV or two into your surgery soon so you can see how they work. It is important to note that we are moving from prototypes or pilot BEVs to full production, so it is best not to wait too long.
Come in, the water is good.
Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for almost 30 years, most recently as Executive Director of the North American Council for Cargo Efficiency. He currently sits on the National Academy of Sciences Second Committee on Technologies and Approaches to Reduce Fuel Consumption in Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales. and factory management at Navistar and Behr / Cummins.