NACFE: 'Realistic expectations about BEVs are what’s needed now'

NACFE: ‘Realistic expectations about BEVs are what’s needed now’

"An open mind and realistic expectations about BEVs are what’s needed now," - Mike Roeth, NACFE.

In a recent newsletter, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) asked readers to keep an open mind when it comes to the real-world commercial applications of for BEVs. Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE, alludes to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, explaining that having additional vehicle options drives competition and benefits fleets, but widespread adoption of BEV tech is still hindered by major issues, which present learning opportunities.

One of the biggest concerns for years now has been BEV range and how it’s affected by hauling capacity, including the hefty weight of battery packs. If a so-called “long-haul” truck only has half its effective range when fully loaded, that vehicle is going to struggle to succeed in the commercial space. Performance in these areas will continue to improve, but even if it remained stagnant there are regional-haul and delivery applications (among others) which can benefit from BEVs, especially in densely populated cities where demand for zero-emissions vehicles is often greater.

Another issue crops up during cold winters or sudden Arctic cold snaps brought on by polar vortexes. According to AAA, when it’s below 20° Fahrenheit and the driver is using the heater, BEV range drops 41% on average. additionally, lithium-ion batteries charge more slowly in extreme cold. That uptick in downtime is frustrating for drivers with personal BEVs, but those slowdowns could be detrimental to the bottom line of trucking operations. Roeth believes these issues will eventually be figured out, possibly through insulation packages like those on current diesel and gas trucks expected to operate in extreme cold.

Addressing the chill won’t fix another problem: infrastructure. Even with combined efforts from automotive companies and the U.S. government, building a national a national network of millions of quick chargers is extremely difficult and will likely take the better part of a decade to get into a functional state. To that end, Roeth says “BEVs are not going to work in every application at this point in their development, so let’s stop worrying about the square peg in the round hole.” Roeth adds we should focus on learning as much as possible from current operations where BEVs can be deployed in larger numbers.

“An open mind and realistic expectations about BEVs are what’s needed now,” said Roeth. “BEVs are not the holy grail; however, they are another tool for fleets to leverage to improve their operations.”

You May Also Like

Finnish fleet tests Fuso eCanter trucks in one of Europe’s coldest regions

Two Fuso eCanter BEV trucks are being used by DB Schenker in northern Finland, testing the truck’s capabilities near the Arctic Circle.

Daimler-Fuso-eCanter-DB-Schenker-Finland

Schenker AG added two Fuso eCanter into its fleet network in Finland, and is operating of the 7.5-ton battery electric trucks every day in one of the coldest regions in Europe. One is running routes in Kuusame, Finland, where snow is often several meters deep, and temperatures commonly dip below -20°C; the other is in Oulu, about 120 miles southeast. Daimler tells us these trucks have been in service with DB Schenker's fleets since the beginning of the year.

Eaton Green Motion EV chargers meet CTEP requirements

The company says its level 2 Green Motion chargers provide meet charging standards and provide drivers with billing transparency.

Eaton-chargers
Two Volvo VNR Electric trucks will kick off new California pilot program

Volvo says the VNR battery-electric trucks are ideal for drayage operations due to their operational efficiency in tight spaces.

Volvo-VNR-ONE-Electric-Truck-Program-Drayage
Fleet Profile: Ryder uses EVs to focus on zero-emissions fleet

Ryder says it intends to give customers an “end-to-end” solution by adding thousands of GM BrightDrop EVs to its lease and rental fleet.

BrightDrop-Electric-Cargo-Van-Ryder-Nov-23
Mack delivers LR Refuse EV to Costal Waste & Recycling

Mack and Coastal Waste & Recycling developed a route to favor for the LR Electric’s range, so it can complete a full day’s work.

Mack-delivers-LR-electric-refuse-vehicle

Other Posts

Scania expands BEV truck offerings

Calling it the “9-litre engine equivalent” to a diesel truck, Scania believes its new EM C1-2 will benefit construction-oriented operations.

Scania-expands-BEV-offerings-EM-C1-2
Inside the most secret building at Volvo Trucks

What’s no secret is the importance of trucking safety, and Volvo’s goal to reduce accidents across the globe.

Volvo-Trucks-Global-Safety
How fleet management tools can help increase fuel efficiency

From fleet cards to EVs and data, all work together to help save on costs.

generic-fuel-efficiency-fleet
Diesel powertrain technology that makes a decarbonization difference

Saving diesel can reduce CO2 emissions, but is it enough to make a difference? Volvo thinks so, and made these changes to boost efficiency.

Trucking-Sustainably-mar24.-truckengine