Ask any fleet manager and they’ll tell you the same thing – next to paying your trucking staff – the cost of fuel takes the biggest bite out of operational budgets.
Pushing nearly 25% of ongoing expenses for a typical ground logistics business, costs for a single semi-truck can exceed $45,000 per year in diesel fuel. It’s overhead that literally “goes up in smoke” with every passing financial reporting quarter.
It’s no wonder then that these same companies are well on their way converting their fleets to e-Trucks, where prospects of 60% – 80% reduced fuel costs have driven production demand higher ahead of anticipation of longer mileage versions on the horizon.
60% – 80% fuel savings seem like a stretch? Actually that may be a bit low…
Even if a truck driver is doing everything they should do in maximizing a vehicles fuel efficiency, the math still of 4X to 5X fuel cost still holds up relative to a truck with an electric drivetrain.
While cars have been focusing on greener solutions for some time, the trucking industry is playing a bit of catch-up. And becaus the transportation industry is such a large contributor to the overall emission figures associated with vehicles, it’s important that green trucks are adopted into fleets around the world.
The great news is that there is no shortage of new and excellent options and here is a look at 2021’s top 5 eTrucks for commercial applications.
No discussion of EVs would be complete without Tesla and this is the model with which they are aiming to enter into the world of trucks. The Tesla Semi is a green truck that is meant to replace long-haul big rigs. As the name suggests, this is an all-electric heavy-duty semi that will come in two different iterations.
The first will have a range of 300 miles while the other will have a range of between 500 and 600 miles. As with any Tesla, this semi will also feature a host of futuristic innovations.
Of particular interest is the “Convoy Mode” which will allow a fleet of Tesla Semis to semi-autonomously slipstream each other making them even more fuel-efficient.
Daimler Freightliner eCascadia
While the name Daimler might seem unfamiliar to many, they are the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and hence have a tone of experience when it comes to trucks. Their trucks are known for their reliability and longevity and they are aiming to bring those qualities to green trucks with the eCascadia.
It is an all-electric 18-wheeler that has a range of 230 miles. This will make it ideal as a part of an urban delivery system. Daimler’s other offerings have been well-received and they have a wealth of experience making excellent trucks. All of this makes the eCascadia a great option worth considering.
Tesla has bought Nikola Tesla, the pioneer of AC current back into the public consciousness. Nikola Motors have followed that trend and they have used the inventor’s first name for their company. They are a new startup that does not have any affiliation with Tesla.
Their trucks are meant to take green vehicle technology to the next level. They will not only be offering all-electric trucks but hydrogen-fueled trucks as well. This is a revolutionary technology that is still in its infancy.
However, it is where the future is headed and this is a great option for those looking to really future-proof their fleet.
Amazon is one of the world’s foremost businesses and a large part of its model involves transporting and delivering goods. They have already placed an order of 100,000 R1T’s which alone gives this green truck plenty of credibility.
Amazon also happens to be an investor in the parent company which should allay any fears of the risks associated with a relatively unknown company. Given that this is a vehicle that has been designed and engineered from the ground up to be a part of a mass-delivery system, this should be the ideal solution for any large-scale business.
Volvo VNR Electric
Another big name in the world of trucks is Volvo and they too have been investing a lot of time and money in green trucks. The VNR Electric is a result of this endeavor and is also a part of Volvo’s Low-Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions. This program is backed by the California Air Resources Board.
To make the process of changing over to this green truck a lot easier, Volvo will offer lease agreements on a monthly basis. It will also include insurance and maintenance in this lease. This is another company with a large knowledge base when it comes to long-distance trucking and it could be the perfect option for those who want their green truck to be backed by one of the most dependable names in the motor industry.
To Sum Up…
Green trucks like the electronic-drive variety covered above are helping shape a sustainable path for an industry not exactly known for it’s environmentally friendly ways.
Through competition from truck manufacturer, and innovation in the battery space we should see prices fall further, and per-charge mileage increase making the business case for full fleet conversion a no-brainer for our cost-conscious fleet managers.