We all know by now the reasons for switching to electric commercial trucks over diesel powered ones. Better economy, more torque, less carbon footprint, less regulations etc. Here are 4 slightly less talked about, but equally important advantages of electric over diesel power.
1. Longer Working Hours/Less Noise
Electric trucks are quieter, everybody knows that. But that result of that means they can operate at times when diesel trucks cannot. As it turns out, that has a significant impact on the businesses in congested urban area.
Many cities have restrictions on noise levels during evening hours, which could allow the quieter electric trucks to operate, allowing greater flexibility to the operating company.
2. Efficiency Boost with Regenerative Braking
Edward Jobson, vice president of electromobility at Volvo Trucks, says “The energy efficiency calculation is about comparing the efficiency map of the diesel and losses in the transmission chain with the efficiency of the electric drivetrain and energy recuperation while braking.”
Jobson uses a city trash collection vehicle as an example. It has an average speed of about 12.5 mph and average load of about 15% of its maximum. “The average efficiency of a diesel at this very low-load case is about 20%. The electric drivetrain will have about 80% efficiency at a low-load case. Together with some brake energy recuperation and more efficient auxiliary drives, this will lead to about five times higher efficiency for the electric drive.”
3. Vehicle to Grid Potential
Although this is a much more obscure benefit, it still looms large for the future of electric vehicles, especially commercial trucks. Looking down the road, commercial electric trucks could become energy storage units on wheels. After a natural disaster like a hurricane, flood, or forest fire, the large batteries in electric trucks could power local minigrids providing crucial electrical power to hospitals and first responders.
There’s another aspect to consider with all that stored energy available. The is concept is similar to when you have solar panels and battery storage at your home. “Today, fleets just think of themselves as consumers of fuel, which they’re buying often in bulk. They’ve perhaps never thought of their fuel as a resource that they could trade,” says Stephen Voller, CEO of Zap&Go.
“If you had a fleet of large electric vehicles, say 100 trucks each with 1 Megawatt hour of stored energy, that’s 100 Megawatt hours of energy you’d have available. When it comes to it, you could trade that energy to the highest bidder.” Fleets essentially could become energy commodity traders, he says.
4. Can You Say Solar?
If you are operating a diesel truck, there is only one way to get fuel — find a pump. If you are driving an electric truck, you have a potential source of extra energy all around — sunshine. There are no companies covering all those semi-trailers out there with solar panels. The electricity they generate can be used to add range to the tractor, of course, but it can also be used to power refrigeration equipment.
Electric trucks with electrically cooled reefer trailers don’t need to idle for long periods of time to keep their load cold and can drive indoors without poisoning everybody with exhaust fumes. They can also operate in low pollution zones that ban diesel engines during certain hours of the day or during air quality alerts.
C&M Motors Offers Efficient Electric Commercial Truck Options
C&M Motors has partnered with SEA Electric to power our line-up of Hino trucks. See details at SEA Electric Commercial Trucks | C&M Motors NationaLease San Diego (cmmotorsinc.com) and feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to helping you make the switch to cleaner, more powerful, and efficient electric commercial trucks.