Are electric trucks coming our way next year?

The Mercedes-Benz Electric Truck is driven by an electric rear axle with the electric motors being installed right next to the wheel hubs. The power comes from a modular battery system with three battery tanks and 90 modules in all. The batteries are installed in the frame, a compact and safe solution.

Until recently, truck manufacturers have focused on bringing electric light commercial vehicles to market. However, increasing international pressure to reduce truck emissions and advances in battery technology have led manufacturers to develop electric medium and heavy trucks. Will electric trucks be on European roads by 2019?

Electric trucks: start-ups and the Big 7

Let’s discover what start-ups and Europe’s Big Seven truck manufacturers have announced recently.

Tesla Semis

Public interest in electric trucks rocketed in November 2017 when Elon Musk, founder of global electric vehicle start-up Tesla, presented his plans for the launch of an all-electric Tesla Semi truck. The Tesla truck comes complete with an ‘autopilot’ function that can provide driver assistance with semi-autonomous driving and safety over long distances.

Tesla claims that, due to fewer systems onboard to maintain, the Tesla Semi can save fuel costs of over $200,000 over a two-year period.

The Tesla Semi will be available in two versions, one with a battery that needs to be recharged after approx. 300 miles (482 km; expected base price £110,000 or €125,000) and another after 500 miles (804 km; expected base price £140,000 or €159,000). Those who have ordered a Tesla Semi can expect delivery in 2019. (source: ZDNet) UPS has pre-ordered 125 Teslas (source: TTNews).

Other examples of electric truck start-ups, this time in Europe, include:

Swedish start-up Einride

Swedish start-up Einride has deedish start-up Einrideveloped a fully electric, windowless and autonomous truck, the “T-Pod” which has a range of 200 km and could start delivering goods this autumn.  The “T-Pod” has been likened to “containers on wheels”. Two German companies, Lidl, the food chain and Schenker, the logistics company have placed orders already. (source: Nordic Business Insider)

Germany’s Street Scooter

Unable to find the electric trucks it needed, Deutsche Post created its own electric truck manufacturing subsidiary StreetScooter. It has already produced 6,000 eLCVs which Deutsche Post uses in urban areas. StreetScooter has opened a second factory to build electric trucks in different formats. (source: CleanTechnica)

Europe’s Big Seven

  • DAF is partnering with electrical systems supplier VDL to release a series of CF Electric trucks later this year. The CF Electric will be a 4×2 tractor unit, weighing 9,700 kg and developed for up to 40-tonnes distribution applications within urban areas with its 100 km range battery. (source: TruckingInfo)
  • Daimler has been quick off the mark, putting its light electric truck, the Fuso eCanter with a 100 km range on sale in late 2017. (source: InnoTechtoday). It has also shown its E-Fuso Vision One concept heavy truck, which it expects to launch about four years’ time.
  • Iveco has been one of the pioneers of electric commercial vehicles in Europe, having launched its Daily Electric eLCV in 1986. Since then, the Daily range has been extended to include vans, mini-buses, urban buses. (source: Iveco)
  • Renault announced in January 2018 that it will launch a range of electric trucks in 2019. It has been selling a 4.5 tonne electric truck since 2010. Renault Trucks is now conducting real-world tests on various experimental full-electric 12-16 tonne trucks. (source: Renault Trucks)
  • Volkswagen (owner of the MAN & Scania brands) is taking a “wait-and-see approach” to electric trucks, stating that it will launch electric trucks and buses by 2022. (source: TheDrive)
  • Volvo said in January 2018, that its medium-duty electric truck will be widely available in Europe in 2019 with some customers able to take delivery later this year. (source: InnoTechToday) Two models will be available. The Volvo FL electric truck will have gross vehicle weight of 16 tonnes and offer a range of up to 300 km (185 miles.) It is designed for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions. The Volvo FE electric is a larger, distribution-sized truck that can handle gross weights of up to 27 tonnes and has a range of up to 200 km. (source: CleanTechnica)

Slow electrification

Management consultants McKinsey estimate that electric long-haul trucks will be cost equivalent to diesel trucks by 2028 if battery technology improves consistently at its current rate and that by 2030, electric trucks will account for up to 15 percent of global sales. (source: Nordic Business Insider)

Are electric trucks coming our way next year?

Yes. There will be a reasonable selection of electric medium and heavy trucks to choose from in Europe in 2019 with some available before then.

Experience electric delivery with TIP

TIP will offer electric trucks through rental or leasing as the market matures, possibly in 2019. Meanwhile, it can provide eLCVs on a short-term rental of less than a year or on a long-term leasing basis (1 to 10 years). The long-term lease includes maintenance and repair. Customers benefit from TIP’s extensive fleet management experience, its network of workshops across Europe that can service electric vehicles; its expertise in telematics and remote access maintenance; reporting.

TIP can 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 offer, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.



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