We asked four representatives from OEMs what advice they would give to fleet managers who are considering electric trucks. Here’s what they had to say:
- “Question data and use your experience and knowledge to analyze it. Is the data suggesting that the electric truck benefit is achievable based on application? Vehicles are tools, and every tool is different because every challenge is different. If you only had a hammer, then all your problems would look like nails. Well, if you only have one truck, then all your problems look the same, but that’s not the case within our industry. Take your knowledge of running trucks and ask the questions about the technology.” — Darren Gosbee, Navistar vice president of advanced technologies.
“Battery electric vehicles are limited by range, weight and cost, but technology and battery systems will improve and evolve going forward. Fleet managers need to consider their use case, routes, range, payload impact, charging availability and other factors to determine when and where a battery electric vehicle or hybrid electric vehicle would be appropriate.” — Andreas Juretzka, leader of Daimler Trucks North America’s e-Mobility initiatives.
“Fleets should be open-minded to a mixed fleet while always working toward the right ratio to get maximum efficiency across their entire business. It might only make financial sense for a few trucks in their fleet, but if they can procure vehicles that are hyper-specialized to their duty cycle, even across fuel-type, then they should consider it. When it comes to the electric technology itself, I think one of the biggest lessons to learn is how to best manage charging cycles and effectively use the charging infrastructure.” — Julie Furber, executive director of the electrification business for Cummins Inc.
“Fleet managers are wise to want to test and prove electric truck claims for themselves. The diversity of applications and fleet operations means that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We’ve also seen that many can build a handful of trucks in a garage, but the journey to industrialization and production of tens of thousands of units, annually, is far more complex. Fleet managers must also consider the full commercial offer—distribution, after-sales support and resale value—when assessing adoption of a new technology.” — Keith Brandis, Volvo Trucks North America vice president of product planning