Are Electric Auto Transport Trucks The Future Of Auto Shipping?
- Guest Posts
- October 30, 2020
Electric cars, which were mostly science fiction just 20 years ago, are now driving regularly on our streets thanks to automakers like Tesla, and other major automakers like Ford and GM are now releasing electric vehicles with their Mustang Mach E and Hummer EV, respectively.
This begs the question – when will electric trucks begin to take over our roads? The technology isn’t quite there yet, but electric trucking may soon become a reality. Experts at a1autotransport.com, for instance, believe that in the next decade or two, electric trucking may completely revolutionize how cars are shipped and delivered throughout the United States.
Electric Auto Transport Trucks May Soon Become A Reality
Tesla has already built an electric semi-truck that has been tested and used throughout the United States, and is accepting reservations for its semi-truck in the future, though a release date has not yet been announced.
And they’re not the only company investing in electric trucks. Volvo has made an electric truck, and there are quite a few other electric truck and van companies to watch, from respected manufacturers like Daimler as well as startups like Nikola and Rivian.
The Benefits Of Electric Trucks For Shipping Cars
So, why would electric trucks even be desirable for shipping cars and other types of freight? Electric powertrains offer quite a few benefits compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains – so let’s take a look at them now.
● Lower cost of maintenance – Electric vehicles (EVs) have far fewer moving, wearable parts compared to ICE-powered vehicles. This can result in a huge reduction of maintenance costs, including lower expenditures on parts and labor.
● Reduced energy consumption – Electric vehicles are about 60-72% efficient, meaning that 60% to 72% of the energy used is converted to on-road performance. Diesel ICE vehicles typically have an efficiency of about 41%.
● Improved overall performance – With electric powertrains, semi-trucks will be able to develop more power and torque when hauling heavy loads, leading to better maneuverability and safety, and superior overall performance on the road.
● Environmentally-friendly – EVs don’t use fossil fuels, and while they still rely on electricity from the power grid to operate, this energy can be gathered from renewable sources such as wind, hydroelectric power, and solar power.
● No additional generators needed for long hauls – Long-haul trucks often must have APUs (auxiliary power units) to run lights, power outlets, HVAC systems, and other systems when the truck is stopped overnight, such as at a truck stop. One added benefit of electric auto transport trucks is that they would not require such a generator, further reducing running costs and enhancing environmental friendliness.
Because of these benefits, auto shipping in the future will be faster, more efficient, and more environmentally-friendly than ever before.
The Challenges Of Electric Trucks For Shipping Cars
Given all the above benefits, it may seem like electric trucks are certainly the best option to ship cars and semi-trailers full of cargo throughout the United States. But though they do have plentiful advantages, there are also some drawbacks of electric auto shipping trucks.
● Delivery range – The biggest challenge of all-electric vehicles is stuffing enough battery cells into the vehicle to give it sufficient range. Batteries are heavy and expensive – and even Tesla’s semi-truck is expected to only have a range of between 400-500 miles. It seems likely that electric auto transport trucks will not be used for cross-country deliveries until battery technology improves.
● Infrastructure – To truly be comparable to diesel trucks, investments will need to be made to build out charging stations with standardized chargers throughout truck stops, rest stops, and other areas in the United States, which will be costly and may take a long time.
● Up-front costs – Electric trucks for shipping cars will be more expensive than diesel powered trucks. The Tesla Semi, for example, is anticipated to cost $200,000 when it launches. New, mid-range diesel vehicles usually cost about $100,000, so costs will be a major concern, particularly for owner-operators.
These challenges can certainly be overcome – but it will require the buy-in of lawmakers throughout the nation, and widely available, affordable electric semi-trucks that can prove that they are in the same league as traditional diesel-powered vehicles.
Electric Auto Transport Trucks Are The Future Of Auto Shipping – But Face Challenges
The electric vehicle revolution is coming. Some states like California, anticipating this change, have banned sales of new gas-powered cars starting as early as 2035. And though EVs like electric auto transport trucks do face some challenges, it’s likely that in the future of road-based trucking is electric. So keep an eye on major truck manufacturers – in the next decade or two, you’re likely to see a major shift away from diesel powertrains, and toward EVs.