One of the concerns we hear when talking to folks about the adoption of electric trucks is the challenge of charging them. Fleets that buy diesel-powered equipment don’t have to worry about finding places to refuel, but at this point fleets considering purchasing commercial battery electric vehicles have to ensure there is a place for them to recharge.
Fleets can have charging stations on their property, but if the facility doesn’t have an adequate power supply from the utility, additional gridwork may be needed to run additional lines to the site and install transformers.
Today, electric trucks are being developed concurrently with charging systems and there are no clear indications of where rapid charging, battery technology, grid infrastructure, and electric trucks could go.
Whenever the subject of electric trucks comes up, someone will invariably raise questions about grid capacity. We believe that grid capacity tends to lag demand because of the capital investment required. We think that as OEMs ramp up production of electric vehicles increased investment will be made in the electric grid.
Of course, the whole issue of electric vehicle charging and charging infrastructure is complicated by the fact that there is minimal actual field history with large volumes of battery electric vehicles.
We are in the process of working on our third guidance report in our series on electric trucks. This one is focusing on charging infrastructure. We believe the growth and acceptance of battery electric vehicles will largely depend on their ability to charge quickly and conveniently.
We expect to publish the report next spring and are hard at work gathering information and conducting interviews. At this point, I am reaching out to those of you with experience with battery electric vehicles. We want to talk to you about your experience with charging them and get your thoughts on needed infrastructure. We also want to talk to those of you involved in providing the charging equipment and engineering services to provide the needed power.
Rocky Mountain Institute’s Jessie Lund is heading our effort on this project. Jessie would be happy to spend time chatting with you about your experiences. Contact her here.