At present, electric vehicles are still rare in the freight transport sector. This is because they suffer from the same “childhood illnesses” that electric passenger cars have suffered in the past. Heavy batteries affect the capacity of trucks and thus the revenue of carriers.
At the same time, there is still a lack of charging stations for large commercial vehicles. Add to this the short range, long settlement times and high costs of purchasing electric trucks, and the purchase of these environmentally friendly vehicles may seem economically and logically unjustified.
“However, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group, the situation will change in the coming years,” the German newspaper Bild reports.
“Environmental laws, the growing competitiveness of green propulsion and the growing awareness of the effects of climate change are accelerating the industry’s transition to zero-emission trucks,” the study said.
Research shows that 2025 will change the game for electric trucks. By 2025 (and even earlier in China and the US), medium- and heavy-duty battery-powered lorries with 120,000 km will cost hauliers the same as conventional lorries. It should be noted that the study is about the total costs – purchase, operation, maintenance, etc. – electric truck.
The authors of the document suggest that truck manufacturers will be penalized from 2025 if they do not work on their models to reduce CO2 emissions that are harmful to the climate. In addition, BCG expects greater government support for zero-emission freight.
Analysts predict long-term increases in diesel prices as battery prices fall and truck charging networks expand. Manufacturers Volvo, Daimler and Traton (which owns MAN and Scania) plan to install 1,700 charging stations by 2025.
BCG analysts are also painting the future of fuel cell trucks in bright colors. According to a study, hydrogen-powered vehicles could overtake diesel-powered trucks as early as 2028.
Their main advantage, according to the study, is refueling, which is much faster than charging electric cars. In addition, they have a long range and are not limited by the weight of the battery.
Commercial electric vehicles are already cheaper than diesel engines
According to a recent study by the Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment, the cost of ownership and operation of electric trucks is already lower than that of their diesel counterparts. A T&E report shows that the average electric van is 25 percent cheaper than a kilometer of property and use.
For light trucks, the average total maintenance and operating costs are 16 euro cents per kilometer for a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. For electric commercial vehicles, they are 11 euro cents, and even 10 euro cents if the owner has received a purchase subsidy.
As a result, an electric car can be 37.5 percent cheaper than its internal combustion engine counterpart. For heavier delivery vehicles, the difference between a subsidized electric car and a diesel engine is as much as 42 percent.