Small and mid-size trucking operators have mixed views on sustainability, especially on the viability of electric vehicles (EVs). There seems to be some split between younger operators and older ones, with the younger ones much more attuned to an acceptance of sustainable requirements.
Convoy, the surveying organization, operates a load matching service, which helps truckers reduce deadhead or empty runs, and therefore makes a contribution to sustainable operation. , as well as earning more for truckers.
It’s no surprise that the initial cost of new EVs is a serious problem for these smaller truckers. Even with lower maintenance and operating costs, the shortage of charging stations and repair facilities means buying a new EV truck is not an option most of these folks are considering.
However, they are concerned about operational cost savings, and the factors preventing EV use should decline in significance as more of them hit the road. When petroleum fuels are so high-priced, the electric alternative looks more practical.
It will be a few years before the number of charging stations will be large enough for many truckers. However, fleets with shorter day-long routes, roughly 250-300 miles or less, which return to a base station, are natural candidates for EV trucks. If manufacturing can get going, we will see these operations choosing new EVs, since the y can control the needed infrastructure.
It will take longer to satisfy the owner-operator crowd that there are enough charging stations. I have not seen a significant study of the density of charging stations or their placement to support general truck movements, say based on the Convoy to-from waybills. Knowing where charging is needed would go a long way toward defining how to proceed.
Alyssa Sporrer Thursday, September 2, 2021Convoy survey: Trucking divided on sustainability, climate change – FreightWaves