NACFE
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Roeth: Some early Run on Less lessons worth sharing

Sept. 20, 2023
Small depots are ready for electrification now, and electrification at large depots is becoming more possible, as the NACFE study is finding big improvements in battery-electric trucks and chargers since the 2021 Run on Less study.

Last week was an exciting one for NACFE. Run on Less—Electric Depot has begun, and data from the 21 trucks we are following is now being collected. Although there were a few glitches, which we expected given the magnitude of what we are trying to do, we are happy with what we are seeing, and we have already learned a few things.

Taking what we learned from our pre-Run efforts—the Bootcamp sessions and the 122 interviews conducted at the 10 depots—and combining it with these early results has allowed us to identify some key points.

We’ve combined those key points into six broad categories:

  • Small depots are ready for electrification now, and electrification at large depots is becoming more possible.
  • There have been big improvements in trucks and chargers since Run on Less—Electric in 2021.
  • The industry needs cost and weight reductions to improve the total cost of ownership.
  • Range can be extended with multiple charges per shift at the depot and enroute.
  • Power delivery and infrastructure are still taking too long to be installed, which is driving portable/temporary charging.
  • The diversity, passion, and capability of the people involved are helping to scale the adoption of electric trucks.

I shared the details of these during a LinkedIn Live event on September 18 and in a press release that we issued that same day.

One thing the data has reminded us is that no two fleets are alike. The industry acknowledges this when talking about diesel trucks but seems to overlook it when talking about battery-electric trucks. We found that even fleets operating trucks in what seems to be the same duty cycle are handling charging differently.

I encourage you to visit the metrics page on the Run on Less website and really study the data to see how you can apply it to your own electrification efforts.

The Run will be going on until the end of September, and we will be releasing some initial findings sometime in mid-October based on our analysis of the data. Throughout 2024, we will issue several in-depth reports that will dig deeply into the data and allow us to gain a more complete understanding of the current state of scaling electric trucks and what the industry needs to do to make electric trucks a more viable option for a wider variety of fleets.

If what we are seeing from the initial data is any indication, we’ll have a lot to share with you.

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.

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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