A number of manufacturers are racing to roll out electric trucks as early as next year, as pilot projects are already taking place, fleets are eager to buy and orders are pouring in. Medium-duty and box trucks are leading the way, followed by semis used for regional hauling and then long-haul big rigs.
“’We want them quicker than the manufacturers can produce them,’ said NFI’s president, Ike Brown. NFI, a freight hauler based in New Jersey, has been operating 10 eCascadias between the [Los Angeles/Long Beach, California] port complex, the country’s busiest, and its warehouse in Chino, 50 miles inland.
“Mr. Brown’s company makes regional deliveries using a fleet of 4,500 mostly diesel trucks. With a defined daily route of about 250 miles, and trucks that return to the same place every night to recharge, electric trucks ‘just make sense,’ Mr. Brown said.
“On average, it costs about $1.38 per mile to operate a diesel truck, according to the trucking information website TruckInfo.net; $70,000 of the $180,000 annual operating cost is fuel, and $15,000 goes toward maintenance. Tesla, by comparison, estimates its electric Semi will cost $1.26 per mile.”
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