The transportation industry is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., accounting for more than 30% of all carbon dioxide pollution. With the advent of electric semi-trucks, we can decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gasses.
Companies are already transitioning to electric cars in the freight trucking sector, starting with short-haul E.V. trucks before moving on to more enormous ideas such as the Tesla Semi for longer interstate trips.
Transforming goods over short distances, or drayage transportation, is where electric truck batteries excel due to their mileage range restrictions. Thus, trucking companies are working to create short-haul electric vehicles (E.V.) trucks and deploy them in ports and intermodal transportation facilities.
The Clean Air Task Force estimates that converting half of all U.S.-based freight transport from diesel to electricity would reduce CO2 emissions by 90 million tons annually—the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off U.S. roads annually!
Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S.
Greenhouse gas emissions significantly contribute to climate change, posing severe environmental risks. 91% of Americans believe that addressing climate change should be a top priority for our country.
The good news is that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is possible and can help improve the health of our planet. For example, electric semi-trucks produce zero tailpipe emissions when they’re in operation. That is a vast improvement over traditional diesel trucks that emit harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxide (NOx) into the air we breathe every day.
Trends in Electric Semi-Trucks
According to our friends from USA Transport Company, electric semi-trucks are a growing trend in the trucking industry. Electric semi-trucks on roads increased by 200% since 2017, with 1,000 units sold in 2018. Companies operating fleets consisting entirely of diesel trucks (such as UPS) accounted for 25% of these sales. Additionally, this statistic shows a growing interest in electric semi-trucks among companies traditionally relying on diesel trucks.
It means that we have seen a 400% increase in new passenger car sales since 2011 and an 829% increase in new pickup truck sales during this period.*
Electric Semi-Trucks Reduce Noise Pollution
Electric semi-trucks are quieter than traditional diesel trucks. They reduce noise pollution in urban, residential, and rural areas. Reducing noise pollution dramatically affects the quality of life for millions living near highways or railways. In addition to reducing the harmful emissions emitted by electric trucks, they also reduce noise pollution in industrial and commercial areas by enabling trucks to operate at lower speeds while maintaining productivity.
Access to Public Charging Stations and Battery Range are Issues for Electric Semi-Trucks
The first issue is the time it takes to charge a battery. It can take several hours for an electric semi-truck to get enough power to travel from one destination to another, which is much longer than it would take for drivers of diesel trucks.
Second, there are limited options for charging stations that are available in most cities and towns across America. It means that if you don’t have access to public charging stations while driving your truck around town or on long road trips, then your vehicle won’t be able to run efficiently or even at all!
Thirdly (and this one might be obvious), let’s talk about cost: charging stations are expensive! They cost thousands upon thousands of dollars yearly so that we can power our cars with electricity instead of gasoline. It makes sense because those things aren’t cheap, either.
Transitioning to electric semi-trucks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we must create a robust infrastructure.
The transition to electric semi-trucks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we must create a robust infrastructure before this happens. Electric semi-trucks are more efficient, cleaner, quieter, and cheaper than diesel. People can charge them at night when air conditioners or refrigerators are not demanding as much power from the grid. However, there are still some challenges associated with these vehicles:
- An electric truck’s initial price tag is higher than its gasoline counterpart’s because batteries are expensive. They account for about 70% of the cost of an E.V. versus less than 20% for classic cars.
- A lack of charging stations means longer travel times between stops than traditional trucks, which can refuel quickly at gas stations along highways or city streets (Source: “How long does it take to charge an electric car?”). * Battery range limits where you can drive without having access to charging stations along your route
Electric semi-trucks are a promising solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we must create a more robust infrastructure before the trucking industry can adopt them. It includes public charging stations and longer-range batteries allowing drivers to travel long distances between them.
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