The future for heavy vehicles and trucks is electric. With the EU committed to stronger CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, and new fossil fuel-powered vehicles being phased out by 2035, there’s no doubt that a fully electric future is on the way.

Advances in vehicle range and cost efficiency are causing an increasing number of fleet operators to switch to electric truck charging. At Heliox, with our ultra-rapid charging solutions as well as our leading range of charging products and services, we are ready to help you make the switch to EV trucks. This article breaks down all you need to know before you go electric.

Types of EV charging trucks

In the EU, the majority of active EV charging trucks are under 3.5 t, and used mainly for short-haul journeys and deliveries. These are classed as N1 trucks. These are EV trucks that are easy to manage using advanced fast chargers.

The three main types of trucks being used today are:

• Vehicles for the carriage of goods such as pick-up trucks or vans with a maximum mass of 3.5 t. Used for last mile delivery (food logistics/retail, packages). These are the majority of electric trucks today.

• Commercial trucks for the transport of goods with a mass between 3.5 and 12 t. Used for last mile delivery (box trucks), and firetrucks.

• Commercial trucks for the carriage of goods with a mass of more than 12 t. Used for long-haul trucks, refuse trucks, construction machinery (mobile cranes, cement mixers, tractors).

The rapid pace of advancements in EV charging technology means that it will keep evolving in order for EV charging trucks to be competitive, especially in the area of battery energy density, efficiency and charging speed.

It’s likely that the next big shift the industry will make in the next few years will be the introduction of N2 trucks on the roads, for large and long-haul truck journeys, which will complete the transition to fully electric trucking mobility.

Electric truck charging strategies

There are three main types of charging strategies when it comes to EV trucks. Each with different considerations, benefits, and advantages.

Firstly, there is home or depot charging infrastructure. These chargers are installed in either a private or public location, where eTrucks park and charge overnight. They’re commonly used to charge trucks that drive just one shift per day.

After a night of charging, the battery is full, ready to cover the kilometres for its next dayshift. This is also the most affordable option for EV truck operators because energy costs at the depot are lower than in a public charging station.

Depot charging is usually referred to as a slow charging method with an AC or DC output between 50 and 100 kW. Overnight charging is the most frequently used infrastructure for fleet operators at the start of the e-transition. Its low cost of entry makes it the most economical choice for vehicles with a range of up to 150-200 km.

Secondly, there’s destination charging. For this charging strategy, truck drivers have to do several shifts or, when the truck battery is not large enough to cover the daily journey, they need to charge faster at a customer location while unloading and loading, for example.

The main benefit for operators of destination charging is that eTrucks can drive longer routes whilst investing in smaller batteries. For some use cases, it can be used in combination with overnight charging. This offers more flexibility and reduces the initial capital expenditure. It’s also considered fast charging as vehicles charge in 45 minutes, with an output between 400 to 800 kW.

Finally, there’s public or highway charging. This ‘on the road’ charging strategy relies heavily on public charging infrastructure, like existing petrol stations, rest areas or charging hubs along their route.

As a 100% public charging method, this is most suitable for operators running long-haul journeys that need to drive more than 300 km per day. They can charge during their 45-minute break after 4.5 hours driving.

Here, eTrucks require short time charging solutions with at least 400 kW and 800 kW. They can also use slow chargers on public areas overnight during their mandatory break after 9 hours’ driving. Fleet operators can reduce their infrastructure costs here, but their main consideration will be the added cost of energy at the public or private charging stations, as well as their availability - which can’t be assured.

Benefits of electric truck charging

There are both economic and environmental benefits to going fully electric. Firstly, electric trucks emit zero tailpipe emissions - which means they contribute significantly to net zero emissions strategies and improve air quality.

Then there’s the financial benefits.

Though the capital expense of an electric truck is higher than that of an ICE truck (Internal combustion engine), the total cost ownership (TCO) is likely to be the in par within this decade. In fact, some countries are already seeing electric trucks reach cost parity with fossil-fuel trucks.  

Some of the advantages that are driving down the cost of electric trucks are:

• Significantly reduced fuel

• Government subsidies and tax relief

• Lower maintenance costs

• Road toll exemptions  

• Reduced fees and access to low emission transport zones

In addition, switching to electric truck charging is the most robust way fleet operators can future-proof their businesses.

Heliox EV truck clients

Heliox is a market leader in implementing and providing electric truck charging solutions. We work with fleet managers accessing a range of sectors, including food distribution trucks, waste trucks, CPOs, Original Equipment Manufacturers, logistics specialists and city distribution. We are experts delivering EV truck charging that fits businesses’ unique needs.

Our modular chargers allow electric truck fleet operators scale their charging infrastructure based on their business needs. This can reduce upfront costs and lower the total cost of ownership. We offer mobile, flexible and fixed rapid chargers to get electric truck fleets on the move.

We’ve worked on ambitious, ground breaking projects for clients across the EU. Some of our satisfied EV truck operators include:

•  Cure

•  Albert Heijn

We provide support at every step in EV truck charging. From safety services for new charging infrastructure to providing 24/7 service and maintenance. Switching to electric trucks couldn’t be simpler.

Heliox products for EV charging trucks

In Europe, there is a noticeable shift toward EVs - particularly in the vans segment which is growing steadily. In terms of market share, the latest data shows that sales of electric vans increased to 6.9% - driven largely by triple digit growth in sales in France and Spain. The total number of electric vans in the region now stands at more than 50,000.

It’s clear that total electrification is on the horizon for heavy-duty transport and trucking. It’s vital that during this transition to fully electric trucks, fleet managers choose a trusted and reliable partner.

From small to big projects, Heliox is the right partner for fleet managers to future-proof their businesses, making the switch to EV trucks is essential.

Discover Heliox range of products and e-truck charging solutions, and start your journey towards EV truck charging:

Talk to a Heliox EV Charging ExpertDownload our electric truck report
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