Electric trucks have serviced niche applications like milk floats, pushback tugs and forklifts for over a hundred years, typically using lead-acid batteries, but the rapid development of lighter and more energy-dense battery chemistries in the twenty-first century has broadened the range of applicability of electric propulsion to trucks in many more roles.
Electric trucks reduce noise and pollution, relative to internal-combustion trucks. Due to the high efficiency and low component-counts of electric power trains, the costs of owning and operating electric trucks are dramatically lower than their predecessors. According to the United States Department of Energy, the average cost per kWh capacity of battery packs for trucks fell from $500 in 2013 to $200 in 2019, and still further to $137 in 2020, with some vehicles under $100 for the first time.
Long-distance freight has been the trucking segment least amenable to electrification, since the increased weight of batteries, relative to fuel, detracts from payload capacity, and the alternative, more frequent recharging, detracts from delivery time. By contrast, short-haul urban delivery has been electrified rapidly, since the clean and quiet nature of electric trucks fit well with urban planning and municipal regulation, and the capacities of reasonably-sized batteries are well-suited to daily stop-and-go traffic within a metropolitan area.
In South Korea, electric trucks hold a noticeable share of the new truck market; in 2020, among trucks produced and sold domestically (which are the vast majority of new trucks sold in the country), 7.6% were all-electric vehicles.
Autocar Trucks and several other pioneering American truck manufacturers offered a range of electric trucks for sale in the 1920s. While electric trucks were successful for short-range work, especially in cities, the higher energy-density of non-renewable fuels soon led to the decline of electric-powered trucks until battery technology advanced in the 2000s.
A few electric general lorries prototypes or produced by small manufacturers, and often converted Diesel units, have been built until the 2000s. Trials with different companies in real-world conditions, for several months or more, have been conducted, for example with Renault, E Force and Emoss heavy-duty lorries in the 2010s. Renault launched its small electric Maxity in 2010 and Mitsubishi Fuso its slightly larger eCanter in 2017. From 2018, other major manufacturers including MAN, Mercedes-Benz and DAF began deliveries of prototypes or pre-production heavy-duty units to companies for real-world testing. In 2019, the first series production of heavy-duty lorries is expected to begin with notably Renault, Volvo and MAN.
In the late 1990s, Chevrolet produced a small series of an electric S-10 pickup truck. In early 2009, Phoenix Motorcars introduced a test fleet of their all-electric SUT (Sports Utility Truck) to Maui. Miles Electric Vehicles imported the Chinese-designed ZX40ST electric small pick-up in the United States in the late 2010s.
Models in production include:
- JAC Shuailing i3-T330
- Dongfeng Rich 6 EV
- Dongfeng Rich EV
- JMC Yuhu 7 EV
- Great Wall Wingle 7 EV
- Jiangxi Isuzu Ruimai EV
- ACE Yewt
Announced models include:
- Tesla Cybertruck
- Ford F-150 Lightning
- Rivian R1T
- Lordstown Endurance
- ZERO ZED70
- GMC Hummer EV
- Chevrolet Silverado EV
- Bollinger B2
- Nikola Badger
- Fisker Alaska
- GWM POER EV
- ALPHA SUPERWOLF
- Canoo Pickup
Additionally, many Neighborhood Electric Vehicles are, or were, available as light pickup trucks.
Semi-trailer and tractor trucks
As of 2020, electric semi-trucks are in limited commercial use in California at Anheuser-Busch, GSC Logistics, Golden State Express (all using the BYD 8TT semi-tractor), Penske, and NFI (both using the Freightliner eCascadia semi-tractor).
These trucks are not limited to operation within seaports or drayage operations; their range (in the case of the BYD 8TT, 124 miles at full load and 167 miles at half load) allows use on regional routes. GSC Logistics demonstrated this by hauling cargo from the Port of Oakland, over the Altamont Pass, to Tracy, CA and back. After returning, the truck still had 40% of its battery remaining.
Volvo, DAF, MAN, Freightliner plan to begin series production of electric articulated lorries between 2019 and 2020. Tesla plans to join in 2021 with the Tesla Semi. Such vehicles are already manufactured, and sold in both the US and China, by BYD Auto (the BYD 8TT).
On May 13, 2021, Autocar Trucks announced the launch of the E-ACTT, a fully electric terminal tractor. 98 years earlier, Autocar was the first major truck manufacturer to introduce electric trucks, in 1923.
The Port of Los Angeles and South Coast Air Quality Management District have demonstrated a short-range heavy-duty all-electric truck capable of hauling a fully loaded 40-foot (12.2 m) cargo container. The current design is capable of pulling a 60,000 lb (27,000 kg) cargo container at speeds up to 10 mph (16 km/h) and has a range of between 30 and 60 miles (48 and 97 km). It uses 2 kilowatt-hours per mile (1.2 kW⋅h/km; 4.5 MJ/km), compared to 5 miles per US gallon (47 L/100 km; 6.0 mpg‑imp) for the hostler semi tractors it replaces.
1 U.S. gallon (0.83 imperial gallons; 3.8 liters) of fuel is equivalent to 33.7 kWh, according to the US Department of Energy. This[which?] electric truck uses 2 kilowatt-hours per mile which is the equivalent of using only 10 kWh per every 5 miles (8 km). The diesel truck that it replaces[which?] uses the equivalent of 33.7 kWh per 5 miles (8 km). Thus, the diesel truck is using 3.37 times the amount of energy that the electric truck is using. Therefore, the only variables that are stopping commercial use of electric trucks are original vehicle cost and driving range, owing to the high battery pack cost and low specific energy. As mass production begins, the cost might eventually be comparable to diesel vehicles and with improvement in batteries the limited range of the electric truck might be a non-issue.[original research?]
A common example of the battery electric trucks is the milk float. Because such vehicles make many stops, it is more practical to use an electric vehicle than a combustion truck, which would be idling much of the time; it also reduces noise in residential areas. For most of the 20th century, the majority of the world's battery electric road vehicles were British milk floats.
With a similar driving pattern of a delivery vehicle like the milk float, garbage trucks are excellent candidates for electric drive.[attribution needed] Most of their time is spent stopping, starting or idling. These activities are where internal combustion engines are their least efficient. These and other factors such as ease of driver training resulted in Birmingham City Council opting to use electric dustcarts to start replacing its horse driven carts in 1918. Its use of electric vehicles continued through a number of models including Electricar DV4s until 1971. Electric Dustcarts were also operated by Sheffield and Glasgow.
In preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, 3,000 of the internal combustion engine garbage trucks in Beijing were replaced with lithium ion polymer battery pack electric drive trucks. The batteries were procured for about $3,300 each. In France, some all-electric garbage trucks produced by Power Vehicle Innovation have been operating since 2011 in the city of Courbevoie, the first local authorities in France to acquire them.
In September 2014, an electric garbage truck, called the ERV (electric refuse vehicle), was deployed in the US state of Chicago. It was the first of an up to[vague] $13.4 million purchase order for up to 20 trucks. The PO was won in a competitive bid by Motiv Power Systems in 2012, but only one truck was ever delivered. Chicago sued Motive in 2019, alleging the truck was inoperable more than 60% of the time.
In Europe, as of 2020, electric garbage trucks have been ordered by Geneva, Basel, Frankfurt, Duisburg and other cities. Traditional garbage trucks have extremely high fuel consumption, higher than American 18 wheelers achieve on most routes. Using an electric drive instead of a diesel engine dramatically lowers energy consumption, yet it is still around 1,900 Wh/km or 3,060 Wh/mi. With a 340-kWh battery, such a truck can still achieve a range of over 177 km (110 miles) before it needs recharging.
Off-road and mining truck
Some attempts to produce such lorries have been made; for example, one by PapaBravo. Electric mining trucks have the benefit of not polluting underground. In case of high-altitude mines, the downhill trip with ore recharges the batteries due to regenerative braking.
Autocar's E-ACTT is the fully-electric version of its leading ACTT terminal tractor model. Andrew Taitz, chairman of Autocar said, "The E-ACTT is the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) terminal tractor with an OEM developed electric vehicle system, all Autocar".
The manufacturer sells light-, medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks. The heaviest of them is the 8TT, which is a Class 8 semi-tractor equipped with a 435 kWh battery. The Chinese manufacturer gained a foothold in the US market: its customers include Anheuser-Busch, which deployed 21 electric semi-tractors from BYD in California.
Mack unveiled the LR refuse truck in May 2019. Its commercialization should begin in 2019.[needs update] New York City Department of Sanitation will test one unit beginning in 2020.[needs update]
Renault Trucks, part of Volvo, began selling an electric version of its Maxity small truck in 2010. Renault Trucks was the first to build heavy-duty trucks, with three prototypes of electric Renault Midlum and a later Renault D tested in real conditions by different customers (Carrefour, Nestlé, Guerlain) for a few years between 2012 and 2016. A prototype D truck was delivered to Delanchy in November 2017.
Volvo will launch their first mass-produced electric FE and FL trucks in early 2019.[needs update] They will be built in France alongside their Renault counterparts. For the North American market, an electric VNR semi-trailer truck will be unveiled in 2019 and enter production in 2020.[needs update]
Tata Ultra T.7 is India's first fully electric truck.The truck comes with mordern design and powertrain of zero emission.It is designed to bear a payload range of 3692-4935 kgs. It has a weight of 7490 kgs and equipped with 6 wheels
Mercedes-Benz began delivering eActros units to 10 customers in September 2018 for a two-year real-world test. Customers include Dachser, Edeka, Hermes, Kraftverkehr Nagel, Ludwig Meyer, Pfenning Logistics, TBS Rhein-Neckar and Rigterink of Deutschland, and Camion Transport and Migros of Switzerland.
Freightliner began delivering e-M2 trucks to Penske in December 2018, and will commercialize its larger e-Cascadia in 2019.[needs update] A total of 50 electric trucks should be on the road by the end of 2019, including 20 units delivered to Penske and NFI.[needs update] The Portland factory will be renovated to start electric truck production in 2021.
Hyundai and Kia
DAF delivered its first CF semi-truck to Jumbo for testing in December 2018. It uses a VDL powertrain. The logistics company Tinie Manders Transport received a unit in February 2019, and Contargo in Germany received two units in May.
Peterbilt unveiled in early 2018 a partnership with Meritor and TransPower, who will supply all-electric drivetrain systems for two Peterbilt vehicle platforms. They will produce twelve Class 8 579EV day cab tractors and three 520EV trash trucks that will be tested for about a year. In January 2019, Peterbilt unveiled its medium-duty 220EV also made in partnership with Meritor and TransPower. Six units should be delivered to its major customer in 2019.[needs update] The manufacturer expects to have a total of more than 30 electric trucks on the road by the end of 2019.[needs update]
MAN began delivering a dozen units of various e-TGM trucks (articulated, refrigerated, flatbed...) in September 2018 for testing purposes with different customers. A small series production will take place before a larger serial production scheduled to begin in 2022.
Models from smaller manufacturers
In January 2014, COOP Switzerland began operating an 18 ton (16 metric ton) electric truck with a replaceable battery. 18 square meters of photovoltaic elements are positioned on its roof. The truck's battery has a capacity of 300 kWh. The solar panels along with regenrative braking provide 23 percent of the total energy. The range is 240 km per day. Energy consumption is 130 kWh per 100 km. Net of the solar/regenerative energy it consumes about 100 kWh per 100 km, about 1/3 of the energy needed by a comparable diesel engine. The truck weighs eight tons, with a gross vehicle weight of 18 tonnes and costs 380,000 Swiss francs. It is about twice as expensive as the diesel version. The truck is based on an Iveco Stralis chassis. The truck's operating price is 10 francs per 100 kilometres, much less than the diesel version at 50 francs per 100 kilometres. The truck has two LiFePO4 batteries with a capacity of 120 kWh with a weight of 1300 kg. The battery can be replaced within 10 minutes. Maintenance and the service life are not higher than a comparable diesel truck.
Two trucks began operating in mid-2014 at Lidl in Switzerland and one at Feldschlösschen Beverages Ltd. In June 2015, Pistor began operating one. Shipping company Meyer Logistics uses refrigerated models in Berlin.
In 2018, Siemens and the South Coast Air Quality Management District launched an electrified highway demonstration project near the Los Angeles Port and Long Beach Port, using overhead lines to supply the trucks with electrical power instead of relying on onboard batteries.
In 2011, GGT Electric, an automotive engineering, design and manufacturing company based in Milford, Michigan, introduced a new line of all-electric trucks for sale. GGT has developed LSV zero-emission electric vehicles for fleet markets, municipalities, universities, and state and federal government. The company offers 4-door electric pick-up trucks, electric passenger vans, and flatbed electric trucks with tilt and dump capability.
The company Lithium Storage GmbH is building together with the company Kuhn Switzerland AG a battery-powered haul truck. The vehicle is to go the end of 2016 in operation. The dump truck weighs 110 tons. The chassis is a Komatsu 605-7. The vehicles have an electric motor with 800 hp and can thus produce 5900 Nm. The battery is a 600 kWh lithium-ion battery. For comparison, diesel vehicles of this type consume approximately 50,000 to 100,000 liters of diesel per year.
In 2012, Motiv Power Systems announced its electric powertrain control system (ePCS) could be scaled to power any type of truck, from shuttle buses and Class-A school buses, to work trucks, box trucks, and 52,000 lb (24,000 kg) garbage trucks. The Motiv kit can be used with almost any new truck maker's chassis or for an older truck retrofit. Motiv collaborates with existing truck manufacturers to allow them to sell electric options to their existing customers.
Launched in 2006, the Newton electric truck is an all-electric commercial vehicle from Smith Electric Vehicles. The Newton comes in three GVW configurations: 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg), 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) and 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg). Each is available in short, medium or long wheelbase.
The truck was launched with a 120 kilowatt electric induction motor from Enova Systems, driven by Lithium-Ion Iron Phosphate batteries supplied by Valence Technology. In 2012 Smith re-released the Newton with new driveline and battery systems that were developed in-house. Smith offers the battery pack in either 80 kWh or 120 kWh configurations.
As of October 2012[update], the Newton is sold worldwide and available with three different payload capacities from 6,100 to 16,200 lb (2,800 to 7,300 kg). The lithium-ion battery pack is available in varying sizes that deliver a range from 55 to 110 mi (89 to 177 km) and a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h).
In 2011, PapaBravo Innovations, an electric vehicle design, manufacturing and engineering company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada introduced a full line of heavy-duty underground mining trucks. These off-road 4x4 trucks are the first of their kind; a one-ton platform with full-time 4-wheel-drive capability. They have been designed specifically for "soft-rock" underground mining industries. The line of electric trucks ranges from 1/4-ton utility vehicles to 1-ton trucks and a 12-passenger personnel transport vehicle.
BMW Group has commissioned an electrically powered 40-ton truck for transporting material on public roads. The vehicle comes from the Dutch manufacturer Terberg and commutes eight times a day between a logistics center and the Munich BMW plant. The truck battery takes three to four hours to charge. When fully charged, the vehicle has a range of up to 100 kilometres. Thus, the electric truck can theoretically complete a full production day without any additional recharging. Compared to a diesel engine truck, the electric truck will save 11.8 tons of CO2 annually.
Some of the electric cars made by Alkè (for example the Alkè ATX 100 E) are used in soccer stadiums as open ambulances. The operator of London's cycle hire scheme uses a small number of Alkè electric utility vehicles (alongside other cars and vans) to tow trailers for distributing bicycles.
California has started its zero emission truck program in which they accelerate the production and deployment of electric trucks. In California, 70% of the smog pollution and 80% of carcinogenic diesel soot comes from the two million trucks out of 30 million registered in that state. As a remedy, California has decided to begin the clean truck standard. California wants 300,000 electric trucks of which 17,000 are semi trucks by 2035. By 2045, all trucks have to be electric.
In South Korea, electric trucks hold a noticeable share of the new truck market; in 2020, among trucks produced and sold domestically (which are the vast majority of new trucks sold in the country), 7.6% were all-electric vehicles.
- Battery electric bus
- Battery electric vehicle
- Charging station
- E-FORCE ONE
- Electric vehicle conversion
- Ground support equipment
- Hybrid electric truck
- North American Council for Freight Efficiency
- Smith Electric Vehicles
- Solar-charged vehicle
- VIA Motors
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Electric vehicles, delivery drones and rules on when delivery trucks can operate are some solutions proposed in a new report. The report provides 24 recommendations for policymakers and the private sector, including mandating that delivery vehicles are electric. The report notes that if policymakers care about sustainability, they may want to impose aggressive new electric vehicle regulations.
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Replacing fleets of medium- and heavy-duty trucks can help cut greenhouse gas emissions and make cities quieter and cleaner. Because trucks need so much hauling power, they have eluded electrification until recently; a battery that could pull significant weight would itself be too hefty and too expensive. But now, improvements in battery technology are paying off, bringing down both size and cost. The number of hybrid-electric and electric trucks is set to grow almost 25 percent annually, from 1 percent of the market in 2017 to 7 percent in 2027, a jump from about 40,000 electric trucks worldwide this year to 371,000.
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