A three-week-long test drive organized by nonprofit group the North American Council for Freight Efficiency has found that electric medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks are just as capable of hauling cargo around as their gas-powered counterparts.
The new data backs up a previous study from NACFE, which found that electric semi-trucks performed well when transporting cargo on short-haul routes of 100 miles or less. The new study focused on longer-haul routes, and the results were not just promising but extremely encouraging.
The range and charging speeds of the trucks that NACFE tracked this time around roughly doubled compared to the trucks that the organization tracked in its previous study in 2021, according to NACFE’s executive director Mike Roeth.
“This gives us real data, real-world experience to look into the future a bit — and I think the future of battery electric commercial trucks is bright,” Roeth told Canary Media.
In short, just as electric vehicles are quickly gaining popularity over air-polluting gas-powered cars, there is no reason that electric trucks shouldn’t begin to replace even more air-polluting gas-powered trucks.
The more gas-powered trucks that can be taken off the road, the better it will be for the health of the planet. Trucks currently account for just 4% of the vehicles on the road in the United States but are responsible for 26% of the national fuel use and 29% of the total planet-overheating pollution from vehicles, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The change is coming soon. The state of California recently passed a law that will require more than half of the “heavy vehicles” sold in the state to be electric by 2035, and the New York Times reported that six other states have passed similar laws.
The next step will be to build more charging infrastructure for these electric trucks.
“Utility charging infrastructure is taking way too long. But fleets are taking action on that,” Roeth told Canary Media.
And considering how much money companies that switch to electric trucks will save on fuel in the long run, they will certainly have ample motivation to help spur that infrastructure along.
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