The North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s Run on Less Electric – Depot study is under way, and has produced some interesting data, according to Mike Roeth, NACFE executive director.
As Truckinginfo.com reports, the program, which runs through September, streams data from 21 battery-electric trucks and their chargers to a real-time dashboard. Afterward, the Run on Less team will analyze and report its findings.
“The Run on Less series isn’t something that we made up to be like a marketing or an engineering demo. This is real stuff. These are the real trucks and real freight,” said Roeth. “It’s been exciting to delve into electric trucks, and to get these major players to participate in the run and share this detailed information has been extraordinary.”
After considering 121 applicants planning to operate 5,700 vehicles, 10 depots across North America were chosen to be highlighted as part of the program.
Some of the findings, to date, include:
- 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 en route.
- It’s still taking too long for power delivery and infrastructure to be installed, which is driving portable/temporary charging.
- The diversity, passion, and capability of the people involved is helping to scale the adoption of electric trucks.
Based on the early findings, Roeth said he has been surprised by several things.
First, he said it is frustrating when people think that the range of these trucks is based on how far they can go in a single charge.
Four fleets in the run are charging twice a day, thereby increasing the potential range. Others have not found the second charging necessary because the trucks remain in the depot overnight and then make deliveries.
Trucks returning for a second charging typically must remain close to the depot, but in some cases that is working well. Roeth said he is seeing that in drayage, beverage delivery, and fruit and vegetable delivery.
“A number of the fleets say how quickly they can go from, say, a 10%, or a 20%, state of charge up to 70% or 80% and get that truck rolling again,” Roeth said. “If that truck can get out for a second run during the driver’s hours of service, it may not need to get up to 90% or 100%.”
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