How eTrucks Can Benefit Society
eTrucks, or electric trucks, have the potential to significantly impact society in a number of positive ways. As electric vehicles are better for the environment compared to their equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles, there are obvious environmental benefits involved. Switching from commonly used diesel-based trucks to eTrucks reduces carbon emissions. This should help to mitigate the effects of climate change, and improve air quality and therefore public health. (eTrucks are also much quieter than diesel trucks, so there would also be significant decreases in noise pollution, especially in urban areas).
eTrucks can also create economic benefits. As they require less maintenance, and have lower operating costs compared to diesel trucks, they can save businesses money in the long run. Especially businesses with large truck fleets. While switching to eTrucks will also likely create new job opportunities in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of eTruck charging solutions, and the development of new technologies.
Energy price hikes, government incentives, and the need to futureproof fleets are already driving rapid investment in electric vehicles. Soon enough, eTrucks — both light duty trucks and heavy duty vehicles — should become much more commonplace.
So how can you get ahead of the electric curve and take steps to electrify your fleet today?
Steps Companies Can Take to Electrify Their Fleets
Electrifying truck fleets is a process that requires careful planning and execution. But in the long run, the environmental and economic benefits involved make the process worth it.
To get you started on your electrification journey, we would recommend taking the following steps.
1. Analyze Your Fleet
The first step towards electrifying your truck fleet is to analyze your current fleet of vehicles. This will involve identifying the types of vehicles you currently have, as well as their age, mileage, and fuel efficiency. You should also consider factors like usage patterns, the driving range of your current fleet, as well as the payload capacity and duty cycle of your existing vehicles. This will help you identify the particular eTrucks most suited to replacing your current vehicles.
2. Consider Your Energy Consumption and Operational Needs
To help you accurately anticipate your charging needs (and also choose the most appropriate eTrucks), it’s also important to consider the potential energy consumption of your eTruck fleet, and what your particular operational needs will be. For example, will you be running a distribution-only operation, using only light duty trucks across short distances? Or will you be running a full-service distribution operation, using heavy duty vehicles with additional power consumers across long distances?
Answering questions like these will make it possible to develop a charging infrastructure plan that meets your requirements and maximizes efficiency.
3. Choose the Right Trucks
Before you develop that charging infrastructure plan though, you need to decide exactly which eTrucks you’re going to use. This choice will depend on the specific requirements you’ve determined from analyzing your current fleet and operational needs. While the majority of active eTrucks today are geared toward short-haul journeys and deliveries, there are already many options available in the eTruck market to cover all bases. These range from light-duty delivery vans to more heavy- duty vehicles.
Once you’ve selected eTrucks which match your desired payload capacity, range, and charging time, the next step is to decide on your charging infrastructure.
4. Develop a Charging Infrastructure Plan
At this stage, you’ll know which eTrucks you’ll be using, and how you’ll be using them. So you can put together a charging plan that fits.
Here you should consider the exact type of chargers needed for your chosen eTrucks, the location and electrical requirements for installation, and the management of charging schedules to ensure the fleet's availability.
5. Future Planning
Of course, electrifying your fleet will be a gradual process. It’s likely you will add a few eTrucks to your fleet to begin with, and then add more later. So you should always keep the future in mind when putting together your plans.
Compiling a comprehensive electrification rollout plan will help you to understand the infrastructure you’re likely to need in the future.
6. Provide Driver Training
With your eTrucks and charging infrastructure in place, you’ll be just about ready to go. But first it’s essential to provide driver training. This will ensure that drivers are familiar with the electric truck's features, driving range, charging requirements, and operation. Allowing your drivers to optimize their driving habits and maximize efficiency.
7. Energy Management and Monitor Performance Monitoring
Speaking of maximizing efficiency, it’s also essential to ensure that your power supply is efficiently managed, so that power can be distributed across multiple charging points as effectively as possible. This will help to optimise the charging times of each eTruck.
Constantly monitoring your eTruck fleet’s performance is also crucial, as it will provide data that can help identify areas for improvement moving forward. Make sure to monitor each vehicle’s range, charging time, and maintenance needs on a regular basis.
8. Consider Funding Opportunities
One other thing to consider during this whole process is the cost of electrifying your fleet. This of course can be very expensive. But depending on your location, it’s possible that funding opportunities such as government incentives and grants could be available. In the EU for example, 20 countries currently have subsidy programs available for supporting the purchase of EVs.
Germany’s ‘Umweltbonus’ (environmental bonus) program offer grants of up to €9000 on the purchase or lease of electric cars or vans, and the country also offers tax reliefs to fund 80% of infrastructure costs or extra costs for electric trucks. Austria has a total of €365 million available for the promotion of zero-emission commercial vehicles and their infrastructure. While in the UK, a £140 million funding program aimed at innovation projects which decarbonise heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) was recently launched.
Exploring these kinds of options will likely help to reduce the upfront costs involved with electrification.
If you follow these steps, it’s very possible to successfully electrify your truck fleet, reduce your carbon footprint, improve your operational efficiency, and start benefiting from the lower operating costs of electric trucks. We know this, because Heliox is already helping various companies do just that. If you’d like to find out more about how Heliox can help you make the switch, don’t hesitate to contact us today.