With truck manufacturers around the world developing electric variants, the only question that remains is when will we see heavy-duty electric trucks on the roads? While this promises zero emissions and better truck performance, it also poses threats and challenges for the diesel and other forms of energy markets. Electric trucks are expected to draw 15% of total global truck sales by 2030.
What makes electric trucks attractive?
The three factors that enhance the attractiveness of electric trucks to consumers all over the world are discussed below.
- Total Cost of Ownership- while light-duty trucks may already have reached the cost parity with diesel trucks, heavy-duty trucks are still on the way and may reach there by 2030. Battery costs, consumption, charging costs, and mileage are different factors that will determine the TCO. Once the cost of electric trucks is equaled to or lowered than the diesel trucks, customers around the world will immediately switch to these vehicles.
- Readiness & Charging Infrastructure- electric cars and light-duty trucks have already made it to the market but larger trucks are still in the developing phases. Most manufacturers are investing a lot of money in R&D to make their models readily available in the market. Charging infrastructure is another area where a lot needs to be done. While developers will charge these trucks at their own depots, distribution centers and highway charging points are necessary for the mainstreaming of electric trucks.
- Emissions regulations- EPA and other agencies are imposing stricter regulations and to meet these requirements and targets, the development of electric trucks will be even faster. Some countries are already set upon banning diesel vehicles by 2030 and when these bans are adopted city-wide, electric trucks will follow soon after that.
Keeping in mind these drivers, truck owners will soon switch to electric trucks and the sales of these trucks are expected to increase between 2025 and 2030.
What does the electrification of trucks mean for energy markets?
5% of the total vehicles in the world are trucks but due to longer travel distances and higher fuel consumption, they account for 20% of the fuel demand. In other words, nearly one-third of the global diesel demand as well as 3% of the global energy demand is because of trucks. Heavy-duty trucks will be the last of the vehicles to switch to electricity, so the transition will be slower but it is coming.
After 2030, global diesel consumption will be lowered considerably and this will take a toll on the energy market. With electrification, the electricity demand will increase which will impact its price. Additionally, higher electricity demand will require grid upgrades to meet the demand for vehicles.
Although brands or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are striving for higher market shares in the electric vehicles industry, new entrants are also trying their best to develop their models and take a place at the top. Once the industry matures, the transition could be rapid and may disrupt or totally change the energy market as we see it today.