The benefits of adding electric trucks to your fleet

The benefits of adding electric trucks to your fleet

On the road in 2020: the Mercedes-Benz Urban e-Truck. Source: The Drive.com

Have you been experiencing sleepless nights debating whether you are ready to add electric trucks and vans to your fleet? Experts predict a rapidly growing market for electric trucks and vans. We will guide you through the benefits and challenges of using them to facilitate your decision-making.

Skyrocketing sales

Analysts Idtechex predict that the global market for electric trucks and vans will reach US$ 408 billion by 2028. Management consultants McKinsey in their report “What’s sparking electric truck adoption in the truck industry?” expects the electrification of trucks to start now, not in 10-20 years’ time, with sales set to skyrocket just after 2025.

eTruck ready

McKinsey believes that the world is now finally ready for “eTrucks”.  In its report, it identifies three reasons why. First, that the total cost of ownership of eTrucks will soon be equivalent to diesel engines. Secondly, that the technology and infrastructure for electric vehicles are increasingly cost-effective and available. Thirdly, electric vehicles will meet regulatory requirements including targets to drive down CO2 emissions and local access policies including low emission zones.

The benefits:

  • Comply with environmental regulations– With e-commerce growth, continuing urbanisation and a trend towards lowering emission levels, your fleet may soon have no choice but to go electric if you are making last-mile deliveries in the centres of cities such as Amsterdam, Lisbon, London or Stockholm which are part of the EU’s Frevue Frevue seeks to achieve “essentially CO2 free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030” through electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Reduced total cost of ownership– Electric powertrains can offer lower per kilometre operational cost of ownership compared to conventional combustion engines. This is through the fuel savings generated and the lower costs of maintaining electric powertrains which have fewer moving parts. (source:Interactanalysis)
  • Government buying incentives– The UK government is offering a discount of 20% on light commercial vehicles with a plug, with a total maximum saving of £8,000 per vehicle. From July 2018, German hauliers can apply for government grants ranging from €12,000 to €40,000 depending on the trucks’ weight, to a maximum of €500,000 per company. The German government will also exempt electric trucks from road tolls from 2019 onwards. (source: Electrive)
  • Silent running– Electric vehicles are virtually silent which is better for drivers and can provide new opportunities for deliveries at hours previously considered anti-social.

The challenges:

  • Battery range– Consider the manufacturer’s guidance on the distance that the electric vehicle can travel on one charge. The best-selling electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV), the Renault Kangoo ZE 33, goes 362 km on a single charge, (source: Parkers)whereas the new heavy truck, the Volvo FE with gross weights of up to 27 tonnes, can travel 200 km. (source:insideevs).
  • Battery durability– Daimler expects conventional trucks to run to one million kilometres. How will eTrucks match up to this? (source: zone) For vans, most battery packs are covered by extended warranties of up to eight years, which should cover the eLCV’s lifespan. (source:Parkers)
  • Payloads– As vehicles become larger, so does the battery. This reduces carrying capacity and increases purchase prices. As such, Interactanalysis says that “Even as electric trucks get larger, it is our opinion that they will still be limited to point-to-point routes between relatively close urban areas.”
  • Charging– There is a perceived lack of battery charging infrastructure. McKinsey sees this as being more of an issue for the eLCVs, competing with private electric cars for access to public charging facilities than eTrucks which will run on predictable routes and can charge in depots, typically overnight. (source: zone) There are also concerns about the speed of battery charging.
  • Purchase cost– Whilst cheaper to run than their diesel equivalents, eTrucks cost more to buy. The cost benefit analysis depends partly on the price of diesel fuel.
  • Resale value– “At the moment, uncertainty in the used market about electric vans [sic: and, by extension eTrucks] means that they often lose value faster than their diesel counterparts.” (source: Parkers)

Key decisions

When selecting an electric truck or eLCV, fleet managers need to consider what battery size, load capacity and driving range that they require.

Experience electric delivery with TIP

Why not experience the benefits of eLCVs through rental or leasing without the upfront costs of purchasing them?

Meanwhile, TIP can provide its customers in France with eLCVs on a short-term rental of less than a year or on a long-term leasing basis (1 to 10 years). Customers benefit from TIP’s extensive fleet management experience and its network of workshops across Europe. TIP can also buy conventional LCVs and dispose of them as part of a part-exchange option.

For more information on how you can experience electric delivery through TIP’s eLCV, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.

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