While electric semi-trucks aren’t still massively on the highways, truck makers are doing all they can to be ready when the electric semi-trucks start to be a familiar picture on the road. MAN, Scania, Volvo, Tesla, and Freightliner are some big players investing billions of dollars in R&D on the sector and even testing their vehicles on the roads while you read this newsletter; should truckers start thinking about changing their big rigs soon?
The prime benefit of owning an electric truck will be the total cost of ownership in the long run. Even if taking care of the environment is not a priority for your business, the advantages of disappearing fossil fuel costs, fewer maintenance costs, and a smooth silent ride are undeniable and highly desirable.
Why aren’t companies buying these vehicles already, then? Well, the first reason is that they’re still not available for sale yet. There is also a significant obstacle to sort: the initial estimated price of electric semi-trucks could be two to three times higher than a regular fueled one. For truck companies, the change to electric vehicles will also require a new generation of trained staff to repair and keep these big rigs rolling, plus installing a network of charging stations for their units, increasing the fleets’ operation costs.
How do small fleet owners and owner-operators feel about electric semi-trucks? It seems that many of them are aware that electric vehicles are not a fad but a trend they will eventually have to embrace, but not just yet. Truckers are currently taking advantage of a market situation that keeps truck companies busy everywhere; it seems that the time to think about investing in electric trucks won’t be soon.
There is a chance they’re right about not rushing to the idea right now; cities still need to figure out how to offer an extended charging structure, as well as how to increase their electricity production capacity. Additionally, to avoid the high costs of changing from gas vehicles to electric ones get transferred to the prices of goods, governments still need to develop incentive plans and subsidies, which are not available yet.
All facts considered, having the key truck manufacturers speeding up to get the trucking business to the green side is paramount. When manufacturers’ production lines are ready, the big truck companies will be the first to renew their fleets and have a competitive edge over smaller truck businesses. When that happens, governments and cities better be ready to support small companies and owner-operators to give them the incentives they need. Until then, they only need to wait.