The idea of carriers switching over to electric trucks has been tossed around for years now. However, the cost and power output of solid-state batteries have always put plans on the back burner. Yet with trends in both commerce, technology, and logistics, the way to make the switch to electric trucks has become clearer.

A Potential Hike in Fuel Prices

Seafaring vessels around the world are now mandated to use low-sulfur fuels. The global use of fuel by commercial ocean-based shipping fleets is upwards of 3 million barrels per day, which is not counting non-commercial vehicles. With the new mandate, more low-sulfur fuel will be in production, placing a high-demand on diesel-based fuel, leading to a price increase. This is one of the primary motivators in looking for solutions to transition to electric trucks.

The Power of E-Commerce

E-commerce is here to stay, and is rising as the preferred method of doing business at a consumer level. E-commerce offers predictable and dedicated transportation routes, and with other emerging technologies, it can create a clear implementation for electric trucks. Electric trucks could also offer long-term cost-savings for trucking companies of all sizes, because the use over time will reduce emissions and the cost of owning refitted vehicles. The projected lowered cost of ownership is currently placed at around 2030.

Technology and Electric Trucks

For the longest time, electric trucks have been a fantasy because commercial-use batteries simply couldn’t generate the power needed to move a truck with a full load for the distance needed in the specified time. This is all changing, as manufacturers are testing electric batteries and diesel-electric hybrid trucks that could accelerate the paths to carriers to adopt alternative power sources. 3-D printing, as well, could both speed up and accelerate the adoption of electric trucks, making maintenance and replacement parts easy to access and allow both fleets and owner-operators to create them in-house.

There is no current official legislation mandating the trucking industry to make the switch to electric trucks. The financial and public-facing motivators have industry leaders looking at a transition in the 2030s, with a full move to electric trucks sometime in the 2040s.