Photo: Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks Commercial Electric Vehicles

This week let's all be aware of battery electric vehicles

Sept. 12, 2018
Do we think battery electric vehicles will take over the commercial vehicle market tomorrow? No but we do think they make sense in some applications.

It’s National Drive Electric Week (September 8-16). All across the country there are events designed “to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles and more.” 

Started in 2011 as National Plug In Day, the goal was “to hold simultaneous events across the country on the same day.” It sure looks like we’ve come a long way since the celebration has morphed into a weeklong event in a very short time.

NACFE jumped on the electric vehicle bandwagon when we published our first Guidance Report: Electric Trucks — Where They Make Sense in an attempt to sift through the arguments both for and against battery electric vehicles in commercial applications. And we are putting the finishing touches on our second Guidance Report: Medium-Duty Battery Electric Vehicles Total Cost of Ownership, which will be out next month.

Do we think battery electric vehicles will take over the commercial vehicle market tomorrow? No, we don't, but we do think they make sense in some applications and that fleet owners will begin integrating them into their fleets in applications where they can improve efficiency or save costs.

During National Drive Electric Week I’d like you to think about some of the following things.

  • Electric trucks are likely to be a great recruiting tool for attracting younger drivers, technicians and professionals to the industry. Many millennials want to be able to use the latest technologies on their job and in addition many of them are concerned about the environment. Electric trucks hits on both of those desires.
  • The fact that electric vehicles are quiet and easy to operate are two reasons a fleet’s existing driver population might be drawn to electric vehicles.
  • And finally, because they will have fewer parts and the parts they have will likely be pull and replace, many think electric trucks will be easier to maintain.

Look, I am not telling you to go all in with electric trucks, but at least during National Drive Electric Week, I am asking that you at least consider their place in the trucking industry. It’s not too much to ask.

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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