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What is next for electric trucks and HGVs?

Feb 6, 2019

Recent figures show that the electric car market grew by 10% in 2018, despite the overall market shrinking by 7%. With demand expected to only increase further in 2019 it would seem that we are starting to see a shift towards the electric vehicle market.

Which manufacturers are making electrics trucks?

Whilst this movement is being seen in the car market, there is also a lot happening in the electric truck and HGV market. Recent reports have very much centred around Tesla and their announcement of a class 8 heavy duty truck – the Tesla Semi. However, they are not the only manufacturer looking at electric trucks.

• Daimler – recently announced two electric trucks for the US market
• Hyundai – announced a fuel cell electric truck for the European market. They are set to roll out 1,000 of the trucks in Switzerland between 2019 – 2023
• BYD – the Chinese vehicle manufacturer recently announced 3 all electric commercial vehicles for the European market with Spain to be the first trial market.
• Toyota – announced the launch of their new Beta hydrogen fuel cell electric truck that can cover 300 miles on a full tank, to undergoing testing in the US

Whilst none of these developments are specifically set for the UK market, it is clear that steps are being taken towards zero-emissions vehicles in the haulage industry.

What are the challenges for electric HGVs?

It is still expected to take a number of years before the use of electric trucks and HGV’s is fully viable – cost and charging infrastructure are two of the bigger issues facing the transition.

Costs of electric trucks

Costs are thought to be a prohibitive factor for many in an industry where the lifetime costs of buying and operating a vehicle contribute to a business’s profit. Diesel engines are still seen by many as the most cost efficient. However, with reports suggesting that battery costs are coming down and with the cost of diesel continuing to increase we may soon reach a point where electric trucks offer an efficient business model.

Charging electric HGVs

With many operators of commercial vehicles unlikely to have the correct infrastructure in place to allow charging of electric trucks there is also work to be done in this area before electric trucks and HGV’s become commonplace. If your business is looking at your future vehicle strategy and how this will include electric trucks and HGV’s then it’s important to think ahead and consider the correct infrastructure that will serve your business’s fuelling needs now and into the future.

With the government looking to reduce carbon emission and effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 it is likely that we will see incentives and initiatives aimed at helping businesses in the haulage and cargo industry make the switch. At Anthony Jones we’re keeping a close eye on technology advances in the transport industry and how this may impact our customers business and transport and cargo insurance needs so will keep you updated as we find out more

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