It’s no secret that electric vehicles are all the rage within the automotive industry, and for a few good reasons—they’re aesthetically pleasing, high-performing, and environmentally and economically sustainable. But how will this rise in EV technology impact individuals who drive over 2,500 miles a week? Read on to learn more about the future of electric trucks and their effects on professional drivers.
The Current State of E-Trucks
Before we dive into the future of electric trucks and how they will impact professional drivers, it’s worth mentioning the current state of this technology. More and more businesses are opting for fleet electrification thanks to two key factors: affordable lithium-ion batteries and unprecedented government support. Lithium-ion batteries, the technology that powers a majority of EVs on the road today, are easier to research, develop, and manufacture than they were a decade prior. This means that more automotive manufacturers can meet the needs of commercial clients by producing affordable e-trucks.
There is also tremendous government support for developing EV technology. In fact, individuals and businesses in the US are eligible for certain tax credits and other benefits when they invest in electric vehicles. With governmental support comes increased EV infrastructure, further legitimizing e-trucks as the trucking industry’s future. So, which trucks dominate the electric market? US truck manufacturer Mack offers the Mack LR Electric for around $600,000. This fast-charging e-truck boasts four NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) lithium-ion batteries that fuel two AC motors, capable of producing 334 KW (448 hp) of continuous power. The Peterbilt 379 EV is a Class 8 truck that specializes in local deliveries and boasts a range of 150 miles. Notably, this e-truck also features a regenerative braking system for extended battery use.
Future E-Truck Trends and Expectations
Naturally, e-trucks will continue to improve and, eventually, become standard across the industry. For example, a boost to industry specification—where manufacturers create technology with certain functions and sectors in mind—ensures e-trucks meet the needs of truckers and their specific applications. Expect more e-trucks to feature designs tailored to certain industry applications, like regional transportation or urban fleet hauling.
Another trend to look out for is the rise in iron phosphate and sodium-ion batteries, two relatively new technologies that could potentially outperform lithium-ion batteries in durability, efficiency, and power. The BYD T-9 medium-haul e-truck currently features one of the industry’s only iron phosphate power sources, but you can expect more of these trucks in the future. Other potential e-truck trends to anticipate include increased AI implementation for superior network connectivity and data sharing, improved long-haul engine technologies, and better consumer awareness of these important advancements.
How E-Trucks Impact the Industry
So, how will all of these current trends and future e-truck advancements impact the industry and the drivers who depend on these vehicles daily? While there’s no way to know whether e-trucks will create more job opportunities for drivers, they should improve drivers’ lives and earning potential. For instance, a gas-free car is quieter, often more user-friendly, and unburdened by frequent stops for refueling. Furthermore, electric engines and EV configurations are less mechanically complicated than gas and diesel engines, ensuring superior durability and less expensive maintenance.
Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a rookie considering a CDL driving school to transform your trucking career opportunities, this industry’s future is certainly exciting. Owners and contracted drivers alike will benefit from the EV movement, increasing their career potential.