The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) released its second guidance report on electric trucks, “Medium-Duty Electric Trucks: Cost of Ownership,” which details the factors to consider in selecting medium-duty commercial battery electric vehicles (CBEVs), with attention to considering all of the cost/benefit factors in estimating return on investment.
The report found that daily, return-to-base urban cycles below 100 miles are well suited for battery electric drivetrains and that the primary justification of CBEVs is to meet zero-emissions objectives.
Because field history is minimal, total-cost-of-ownership modeling for battery electric vehicles involves a number of projections, estimates, and guesses. NACFE has identified 20 generally unknown factors concerning modern fleets. Those known unknowns fall into four broad categories: market issues, battery issues, regulatory issues and power issues. The unknowns are not stopping fleets from buying CBEVs and getting first-hand operational data.
The report concluded that medium-duty electric trucks represent just one more option available to fleets to wrest the best economics for their specific freight operations and that they will succeed or fail under the intense spotlight of the marketplace.
The electrification of freight trucks is just starting, but it has the potential to revolutionize the industry just as the dieselization of locomotive engines revolutionized freight transport in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Electric trucks present a new world of potential business opportunities and are no longer speculation. Fleets choosing electric trucks today will get on the learning curve ahead of those that wait,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE.
NACFE developed a Total Cost of Ownership Calculator to compare diesel and gasoline truck investments against comparable battery electric trucks. The use of this calculator will support expressing the many factors that exist when operating an electric truck versus a gasoline or diesel one in dollars and cents.