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Electric Trucks vs. Gas Powered Trucks

last updated April 17, 2019

Electric vehicles are also known as plug-in electric vehicles or EVs. These are practical, fun, and connected automobiles that are specially designed to help reduce emissions. They can also help vehicle owners make huge savings in terms of fuel costs. EVs come with various advantages compared to gas-powered vehicles. That’s why we want you to decide the best option when it comes to Electric Trucks vs. Gas Powered Trucks.

Electric Trucks vs. Gas Powered Trucks

Is charging an electric car cheaper than gas?

Technology has continued to advance in the modern world and the electric grid has also expanded, providing EV users with a well of charging options. Some people already have charging stalls at their home but if you don’t, you can still charge along the road or at work. If you charge your EV often, you will forget about visiting the gas station.

Electric vehicles offer more than individual advantages. For instance, they can assist the US in having a wide variety of fuel choices for transportation. Studies suggest that the United States utilized approximately 9 billion barrels of petroleum in the last few years. Two-thirds of this amount was used for transportation.

Dependence increases the population’s vulnerability to supply disruptions and price spikes. Electric vehicles can help cut down this threat seeing that almost all the electricity in the US is generated from domestic sources such as natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable materials. Electric vehicles can help cut down emissions which are major causes of climate smog and change, cut down ecological deterioration, and enhance public health. Charging your electric vehicle using renewable energy such as wind or even solar helps reduce these emissions by a wide percentage.

Understanding the Benefits of Electric Trucks

Electric trucks can help the end user reduce their required supply stock to keep handy which in turn helps them save money. Volvo Trucks has been in the process of testing its electric trucks in Europe. The company is collaborating with specific customers in a bid to popularize its FL and FE European cabover model complete with electric battery powertrains, as they prepare to commercialize their North American All electric trucks in California and eventually across the US.

During the trials in Europe, Volvo established that electric trucks could be beneficial to various customers such as stores and restaurants in terms of minimizing inventory according to the FE and FL product strategy head Jonas Odermalm. Jonas said that quiet electric vehicles have been utilized during off-peak hours and at night when diesel trucks are banned on the roads. This has indeed helped businesses make huge savings. Jonas said that businesses have always had challenges with daytime deliveries which caused uncertainty among many customers. While they understood the importance of having sufficient stock, they were not sure they would receive their order in time.

With the use of electric trucks, business owners would rest assured that everything was in place which gave them ample time to schedule their days accordingly. With the added precision that electric vehicles offer, customers could easily cut down their inventory which would make the operation more energy efficient.

Increased Efficiency

Today, fleets can calculate the delivery costs per freight under their present business models when utilizing diesel trucks apart from acquisition and maintenance costs. Acquiring electric trucks is currently more costly compared to acquiring diesel trucks. On the other hand, maintaining electric trucks is cheaper compared to diesel trucks.

According to Volvo, its electric trucks have the potential to be more efficient compared to the diesel truck when transporting the same freight. This makes electric trucks more cost-effective when it comes to transportation. This has been partly attributed to regenerative braking (revolving the electric motor rearwards to play the role of a generator and generate charge during reduced speeds.) This recovers electric power while slowing down the vehicle to ensure moderate use of the system brakes and this cuts down maintenance costs.

Diesel Trucks(Gas-Powered)

The diesel technology is enhanced every so often especially now that governments are putting more pressure in vehicle manufacturers to manufacture low emitting diesel engines for trucks, passenger vehicles, buses, and construction and farm equipment. This has resulted in minimal sulfur diesel fuels, advanced filters, catalytic converters, and other gadgets specially designed to reduce and even eradicate toxic emissions.

Why Electric Trucks are more Efficient than Diesel Trucks

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular by the day and as many people adopt eco-friendly practices, experts believe that more people will adopt the use of electric vehicles in the not so far future. Here is how electric trucks compare to diesel trucks.

1. They can Work Longer Hours and Produce Minimal Noise

Electric trucks are specially designed to produce minimal noise while in motion. This means that they can be used during odd hours unlike is the case with diesel trucks. This has had a great impact on businesses especially those located in busy urban areas.

2. They are Fitted with Regenerative Braking which Enhances Efficiency

According to the Volvo Trucks electro mobility vice president Edward Jobson, calculating the energy efficiency involves correlating the efficiency chain of diesel trucks and the losses involved along the transmission chain with the electric drive train efficiency and energy recovery when braking.

For instance, Edward utilizes a city waste collection truck which comes with a 12.5 mph speed and an approximately 15% load on average of its maximum. He notes that the efficiency of a diesel truck on this context is approximately 20% on average. On the other hand, the electric drivetrain features an 80% efficiency in the same context. Armed with brake energy recovery and extra efficient supplementary drives, this will result in approximately five times more efficiency on the electric drive.

3. V2G Potential

Electric trucks will likely be energy storage entities on wheels. After natural calamities such as forest fires or floods, the huge batteries in electric trucks could be utilized in powering local mini-grids which will offer critical electrical power to first responders and hospitals. Still, there is more to consider with all the stored available energy. According to the CEO of ZAP&Go Stephen Voller, fleets are selfish when it comes to fuel consumption seeing that they usually purchase it in bulk.

He proceeds to say that a company with 100 huge electric trucks, for instance, each with the stored energy of up to 1-megawatt hour, this translates to 100-megawatt hours of available energy. This way, the energy can be traded to the highest bidder and fleets would eventually become energy material traders.

Challenges that the Electric vehicle Industry is facing

Electric vehicles have been lauded for their numerous benefits as seen above. Still, there are various challenges that are threatening the success of the industry. Researchers and engineers in the battery and automotive industry have joined hands to invent new technologies and materials to help find sustainable solutions to the current challenges. Here is a look at some of these challenges.

Safety

Security and battery protection for electric vehicles can be challenging in the absence of appropriate materials. Vehicle electrification relies on adequate energy conversion and storage. Huge electrical energy amounts are stored in the Li-ion and NiMH battery packs. These, should be safeguarded from vibration and shock, and tightly fixed to prevent unwanted components, while managing them for thermal properties.

Some of the high performance and robust foam battery cushioning and pad options give engineers highly durable and cost-effective thermal management, sealing, and vibration materials. Some companies have managed to produce flame resistant foam technologies complete with exclusive engineering properties to enhance performance and safety and prolong the lifespan of the vehicle. Some of these technologies are already popular in the industry. What’s more, they can be customized to allow for certain applications and properties as new configurations and designs emerge.

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Reviewing some of the Available Electric Trucks

If you are thinking about purchasing an electric truck, the following review should help you choose the best that meets your needs.

1. The XT Pickup Truck

The XT Pickup Truck is a fast charging vehicle ideal for you if you are always in a hurry to get things done. Charging will only take you 15 minutes of waiting. However, if you want to enjoy ultimate performance according to the manufacturer, ensure you charge your car only at Atlis Motor Vehicles Advanced Charging stations. Alternatively, you can just connect it to any of your preferred charging stations.

This pickup truck allows you to select your driving range from 300, 400, and 500 miles and comes with an exclusive air sprung suspension design complete with powerful damping ability which adapts to the vehicle load, giving you a comfortable and consistent all time experience.

The final options and capabilities of this pickup truck vary and the manufacturer says that they are inventing a vehicle that will be able to carry up to 35,000 lb GCWR on a 6% grade and still maintain 65 mph. The XT Pickup Truck features an autonomous rear suspension and air springs which ensure that heavy loads are leveled appropriately and provides the ultimate ride comfort.

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2. Rivian R1T

The Rivian R1T is perhaps among the most awaited electric truck following its debut at the L.A. Autoshow held in 2018. This truck is specially designed featuring lifestyle and off-road intentions as opposed to working. The overall dimensions of this truck make it a little bigger compared to the Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab or the Honda Ridgeline. It comes with a huge battery pack which does not deter it from navigating through 3.3 feel waters depthwise.

It has an almost 1,800 ls payload and is capable of towing up to 11,000 lbs. This truck will feature 3 battery options that us a 180 kWh, a35 kWh, and a 105 kWh. While the Rivian R1T is not the biggest truck in the market today, it comes with sufficient storage and a huge front trunk taking up 116 cubic feet spaces. This truck comes with a new storage space dubbed the gear tunnel where you can store your golf bags, fishing rods, or snowboards.

3. Workhorse W-15

The Workhorse W-15 is a plugin in hybrid and can cover up to 80 miles on its electric-powered battery at 60 kWh with an extra range extender furnishing it with 310 more miles. The range extender by BMW is a gas generator designed to disperse power to electric motors. This truck can even cover more distance with electricity if it were not for the fact that 20 kWh is restricted for degradation.

Workhorse trucks are specially designed for fleet use for UPS, companies, and utilities. They hardly have any for individual use. The W-15 features a 2,200 lbs maximum payload and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. This truck comes with a top speed of 82 mph and is often utilized for service calls. The W-15 is inspired by the Chevrolet Silverado even though the chassis is exclusive to Workhorse. Deliveries for this electric truck are set to begin sometime later this year.

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4. Bollinger B1 & B2

The Bollinger B1 & B2 are simplified and rugged electric vehicles designed for the next-generation Hummer and Jeep fanatics. It features a huge 120 kWh battery and a 200-mile range. Both of these electric trucks are categorized as class 3 Work Trucks and doesn’t come with airbags.

They can tow up to 5,001 lbs payload, a 7.500 lbs payload, and the B2 will have a 668 ft-lb torque. These electric vehicles come with removable seats, doors, roof, and glass which makes it just as versatile as the Jeep Wrangler. The B2 will feature an 8’2” maximum bed length once the rear seats are removed and its wall opened. The B2 can reach a 100 mph top speed due to its 614 hp.

5. Tesla Truck

The Tesla Truck is an electric battery powered semi 8 truck which was launched in the late 2017 and is set for production in 2020. According to the manufacturer, the vehicle will cover 400 miles on an 80% charge. Charging is expected to take 30 minutes on a solar-powered source. The Tesla will come with a quality Tesla Autopilot which will enable semi-independent driving along highways.

Finally

The advantages of using electric trucks are numerous. For instance, electric trucks can drive indoors without producing toxic fumes. What’s more, they are quieter which means they can be utilized during off-peak hours without causing disturbance to the neighbors.

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