To EV or Not to EV? That is the question for most fleet managers.
In a competitive industry like trucking, early adopters often stand to make the most profit from the use of new technologies. But as sweet as new technology adoption is, the effects can also be sour at times. There are many factors to consider when thinking about making a switch toward an EV-powered fleet.
Some of these factors include government regulations, how willing are they to support the change, the initial cost of buying these vehicles, then the cost of maintaining them, whether they will be as effective as diesel-powered semi-trucks, and more. All these factors will be discussed, and the argument will include both pros and cons.
The Biden administration 2021 issued 2 executive orders that were made to encourage the use of EV Electric vehicles and move the country nearer to achieving its goal of having zero emissions.
The first order of business is to replace the government's entire fleet of 650,000 vehicles with American-made EV electric vehicles. Bidens second executive order is that 50% of all new vehicles sold within the US should be EV powered by 2030.
As you can see, the government is in favor of the widespread adoption of EV electric vehicles, so we are likely to have more reforms to support the technology.
EV electric vehicle-based semi-trucks do not require regular oil changes, transmission oil changes, changes of spark plugs, and other such maintenance activities. Think of an electric-powered vehicle as a plug-and-play device.
Tuning is based on software and can be easily performed by fleet managers through laptops and USBs, depending on the vehicle in question. An EV electric vehicle battery will last you 15-20 years on average.
Fossil fuels being a non-renewable and more than often an imported resource makes their availability questionable at times. Things like the war between Russia and Ukraine, the pandemic, and changing public relations all have an impact on its price and availability.
If there is a fuel strike, most truckers are often out of business until it ends. However, with an EV, that will not be the case. An EV electric vehicle does not require fossil fuels or rely heavily on its oil-based byproducts. All you need is a source of electricity to charge the device.
Another important factor is that electric fleet owners will not have to constantly recalculate the cost of business because of fluctuating fuel prices. Moreover, as the demand for fuel decreases, the percentage increase of the annual rate of inflation will also diminish.
For now, the infrastructure still needs to be developed further to reduce the anxiety of running out of charge currently associated with owning an EV electric vehicle. The range of an electric vehicle at full charge is beginning to increase, and charging time is also decreasing as the technology progresses.
As we move forward, we are visibly able to see the devastation that global warming is capable of doing. A major cause of greenhouse gas emissions and poor air quality index is due to carbon emissions coming from cars. And yes, the power plants producing electricity may emit them, but they would have been doing so even without the introduction of electric vehicles in the market.
Moreover, governments are not only promoting clean energy through electric cars, but they are also planning on producing more electricity from renewable resources like tidal, wind, and solar power. Nuclear power is also in consideration because it emits no harmful gasses.
Since the world is moving towards repairing the environmental damage they have done over the last century, you can also expect more tax breaks when moving towards an EV-powered fleet. You can also expect banks to give low-interest rates for leased vehicles. Another factor to consider is that these electric vehicles have better safety features which may even land you better insurance premiums.
The cost of running an EV electric vehicle is also less than that of a fossil fuel-powered vehicle. All you need to do to keep costs low is charge your vehicle during the non-peak hours when electricity is considerably cheaper.
According to their website, a Tesla Semi can go from 0-60 MPH in just 20 seconds. The recharging time of the eCascadia can happen in less than 2 hours; claims suggest 0-80% charging in under 90 minutes if it has a specific battery attached to it. These are among the best EV vehicles.
Electric Semi trucks can accelerate faster than traditional semi trucks, and the electronic breaking systems are also anticipated to be much more responsive.
It is important to understand that there are 3 levels of charging for EV electric vehicles. Charging time can last from a few minutes to more than a day. EV electric vehicle charging stations are typically at level 2 or 3, but charging at home is at level 1, which is rather annoyingly slow. But the good news is that fleet owners can install level 2 and 3 charging stations where their semi trucks are parked.
Level 1 charging which is typically only used at home, can take a maximum of 40 hours to completely charge an EV electric vehicle.
Level 2 charging is significantly better and can provide 15-25 miles of range/hr. This means that most EVs electric vehicles can be charged overnight or during working hours at the office.
Level 3 charging is where EV electric vehicles are charged at record speeds. These level 3 chargers use direct current (DC) power and are comparatively costlier, so they are commonly used in public chagrin areas. These chargers can fully charge a car in 30-60 minutes. They produce more current than an EV vehicle battery can receive, which means the future looks good for short charge times.
More power, comfortable ride, no emissions, no maintenance, and many other reasons make the use of electric vehicles an attractive option. But there have to be some downsides to this technology, right? Well, yes, there are a few disadvantages, but they should decrease over time.
A diesel semi truck can cover nearly 2,000 miles on a full 300-gallon tank, and an electric semi truck can only cover ¼ of that, which is 500 miles. If the charging times were shorter and the number of charging stations were more widespread, then this issue would not matter. But with the current technology, it means that electric-powered semi trucks can only be used for shorter hauls. Unless delivery time is not the very top priority.
A traditional semi-truck can travel through snow, wind, or storm. An electric-powered semi truck can do the same as well, but its batteries may not perform at a consistent level. The issue is that batteries are charged through the movements of electrons, and under extreme weather conditions, the ability of the battery to charge and discharge is affected.
A semi-truck needs to be completely balanced in order for the ride to be completely safe and comfortable. Now here is the catch, more batteries mean more range, but it also means that semi trucks carrying capacity will decrease.
Fewer batteries mean more capacity but a smaller range. So, engineers have to find the right balance, and this problem may not be that easy to rid of.
For now, there will be very few insurance companies that will provide insurance for electric semi trucks, and those that do might give you ridiculous packages. The reason is that since the technology is new and has not been tested on a large scale, it will be deemed riskier than a regular semi-truck.
It is good to know the pros and cons of EV Electric Vehicle Semi Trucks. But it is also important to know your options. Remember, the best electric semi truck is not the one you want but the one you need. Currently, there aren’t too many choices to pick from in the market, and the EV semi trucks have not been tested all that rigidly either.
The following list is based on the quickest charging times and most range.
Elon Musk has boosted that his electric semi trucks have the most range among all their competitors. Moreover, Tesla is doing all of this with just 4 electric motors. The semi-truck will be mass-produced this year. PepsiCo has already bought 100 units, and 20 units have been brought by FedEx
Range= 300-500 miles
Battery Charging Time= Tesla claims 70% charging in less than 30 minutes, so a full battery charge can be within an hour.
It may look like your regular semi-truck, but the eerily silence gives away its electric nature. This EV semi-truck has been designed for short hauls and inner-city deliveries. Walmart has been using the EV electric vehicle since 2022.
Range= 220-250 miles
Battery Charging Time= The company claims that 80% of the EV semi-truck is charged in under 90 minutes.
The company is promising more range than most of its competitors. For now, the regular battery-powered semi trucks have been launched by Nikola. But high-ranged and fast-charging hydrogen fuel cell models are in the making. The semi-truck is quite expensive already, and the hydrogen version would only cost more.
Range= 350 miles
Battery Charging Time= Between 10%-80% in under 2 hours
This is the second generation of electric semi truck by Volvo and is being manufactured completely in the US. Volvo’s EV eclectic vehicle semi truck is designed for regional routes and not for long hauls.
Range= 275 miles
Battery Charging Time= 80% in just under an hour
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