The Class-8 trucking industry is currently outdated and inefficient. Regular semi-trucks use diesel fuel, which is constantly fluctuating in price. And companies are overwhelmed by the maintenance costs and ongoing repairs. The out-of-service maintenance for oil changes — about five hours — is annoying, but it's the unscheduled breakdowns and repairs that can really cause an issue, because your truck will be out-of-service for up to two months.
Currently, there's a major lack of experienced diesel mechanics nationwide, and that problem isn't going to go away anytime soon. That means, if your regular semi truck breaks down, you could be out-of-service for as much as several weeks before your truck is worked on, which means that truck is no longer making any money.
If you're a small mom-and-pop operation, that can be a real blow.
With EV semi-trucks, you won't have the out-of-service issues for oil changes, and there are no engines or major moving parts that will break down. If one of an EV semi-truck's four engines loses power, it's just a matter of taking it out and replacing it with a new one.
In addition, there are fluctuating diesel prices and a dependency on oil that makes diesel trucks so unpredictable. Your fuel costs are never a set line item; your budget is at the whim of the oil market.
If you only operated EV semi-trucks, you could cut your energy/fuel costs in half.
(And some major companies, like Pepsi and Walmart, might offer charging incentives to EV vehicles at some of their distribution centers, which could lower your energy/fuel costs even further.)
But if the trucking industry could move to an all-electric trucking model, the US could power these trucks with solar energy and a constant feed from the electrical grid.
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How do EV Semi-Trucks Charge Up?
A Tesla semi truck is basically just a big Tesla car. It uses the same engine as a Tesla car, it just uses four of them. And they charge up with an electric charger, but it uses a megacharger. A megawatt is 1 million watts, or 1,000 kilowatts.
When a Tesla Semi-truck needs a charge, it plugs into one of the mega chargers for 30 minutes for an additional 400 mile charge, ready to continue driving.
More info on Tesla Semi at www.Tesla.com/Semi
Currently, companies like WattEV, www.WattEV.com, are paving the path to provide the Class-8 semi-truck industry a way to charge nationwide. WattEV has broke ground on their first of many big truck charging stations in Bakersfield, CA. Next, is the Port of Los Angeles. Companies like these will bridge the gaps and provide EV Semi-Fleets the ability to operate day 1.
Won't EV Semi-Trucks Suck All the Power From the Grid?
No, not at all.
A lot of people are concerned that EV truck chargers will suck all the power from the grid. But the mega chargers in a semi-charging station use a battery storage system similar to what they have for V.3 superchargers for Tesla cars.
The battery storage gets a constant feed from the grid as well as nearby alternative energy sources, like solar and wind generators. The grid is able to keep up with the load, and the solar and/or wind generators supply a large portion of the energy as well.
(Of course, the goal is to have EV trucking chargers that can get most of their energy from alternative energy, but we're not quite there yet.)
What are the Benefits of EV Semi-Trucks?
Everyone benefits from having a fleet of EV semi-trucks. EV trucks can reduce costs, create efficiencies and significantly reduce pollution.
For the manufacturers and distributors, it means having their freight moved in a more green energy fashion. For one thing, it helps with their corporate responsibility and publicity. They can showcase their green performance as part of their branding efforts.
Of course, there are also cost savings, because the cost to fuel a diesel truck is roughly twice as much as operating an EV truck. For example, a trip from Miami to Southern California will cost a diesel truck roughly $800 in fuel, but only $400 in EV charging costs.
And large distribution centers like Walmart and Pepsi are installing charging facilities to attract more EV truckers to move freight for them, which means driving for those companies can reduce your fueling costs even further.
Truck owners benefit because of the cost reductions, such as lower energy/fuel costs. But there are also cost avoidances, like eliminating maintenance and out-of-service issues. A diesel engine overhaul can cost as much as $20,000, and are usually required anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million miles. Meanwhile, a Tesla semi truck is said to be warrantied for 1 million miles, which means they expect the trucks to be able to go much farther.
Customers will also benefit as shipping costs are lowered. For example, a house builder has seen the price of their lumber and supplies go up, not because there's a shortage, but because it costs a lot more to ship the same products as it did two years ago.
As freight prices come down with EV trucks, diesel companies will be forced to compete, either lowering their prices to unhealthy levels, or embracing EV technology themselves. As more trucks enter the EV market, shipping costs will continue to go down, and that can only benefit the customer.
If you'd like to learn more about the future of EV semi trucks and how they can change the trucking industry, please contact us and one of us will be happy to answer any questions.
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