The idea of using electronic vehicles in their fleets because of the potential for reduced maintenance and fuel costs attracts many fleet owners. But others have concerns about the range limits of electric vehicles, which may affect whether electric vehicles will be able to adhere to specific industry requirements, particularly when it comes to long-distance travel. There are a variety of arguments for and against the use of electric vehicles. Here are some things to consider.
Arguments Against Electronic Vehicles
Many have voiced concern that electric trucks are too expensive. They are worried that they cost too much to make, run, and that they will drive electricity costs up. Some people also claim the grid is not ready for the increase in electricity demand that electric vehicles would cause.
Other skeptics are worried about driving an electric truck at highway speeds over long distances. They do not believe electric car batteries are powerful enough to comfortable power a vehicle in the same way that diesel does.
Arguments in Support of Electronic Vehicles
While many people are skeptical of electric vehicles, many support the idea. Regarding the financial concerns, electric trucks are priced comparably with diesel trucks. Users of electric trucks have reported that their electric bills have gone up but not significantly.
As for the concerns about driving an electric truck long distances at high speeds, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has addressed the fears himself. He says that Tesla electric trucks were not designed to do long-haul deliveries; they are for more local deliveries.
UPS Electric Trucks
Being the largest for-hire carrier company in North America, UPS is central to any steps the transportation and shipping industry may take in an effort to become more economical. UPS recently announced plans to add 50 new electric delivery trucks to its fleet by the end of the year. It has been working for four years with Workhorse Group Inc. to design a truck that has the same cargo space and carrying capacity as the fuel-based trucks that it currently uses.
The design makes the vehicles almost 400% more fuel-efficient than other internal combustion engines. Each delivery truck will be able to go 100 miles between charges. The first routes will be through Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta.
UPS says that these 50 trucks are just a first step. It plans to see how they run, make any necessary changes, and continue working on becoming more environmentally friendly. It hopes to be able to deploy a larger fleet of electric delivery trucks in 2019 and continue growing the fleet as the years go on. The company has identified 35,000 routes that could work with the new truck design. It also plans to work with local utilities to determine when the most optimal time would be for the company to plug in their trucks without overloading the grid.
UPS has more than 300 electric vehicles running in Europe and the United States and 700 hybrid-electric vehicles. They also recently ordered 125 electric tractors from Tesla that will be built in 2019.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally written for the GTG Technology Group, What You Need to Know About Electronic Vehicle Efficiency in Fleets.