When we look at electric freight vehicles there are many different kinds. Cars and bikes are already on our streets. UPS and courier companies operate fleets of electric freight vehicles. Anything larger though and the economies of scale begin to break down. At least that is what the common view is. Researches though are beginning to look at this a little differently.
Electric courier vehicles
From UPS to DHL to Amazon, all of these have integrated electric vehicles into their last-mile delivery fleet. This isn’t a new phenomenon but is the current trend for green credentials. With the push from car makers to have all electric fleets we would expect in the UK for most road transport to be electric by the middle of the century. The one stumbling block, Heavy goods vehicles.
Can HGV’s be powered by Electricity
The short answer is yes, the commercial answer is always no. The weight of battery packs powering a large electric fleet of vehicles would make them uneconomical and unviable. However, a team of researchers are suggesting entirely the opposite. The issue is not the weight of the batteries, it is how you charge the batteries which is the issue. The Stockholm Environment Institute have published an article which claims that with a little fore-thought we can make electric freight vehicles a reality. The article is available here on their website.
What they have determined is the issue to making electric HGV’s doesn’t centre around the battery. It centre’s on the speed batteries are charged. A countrywide fast charging system for electric batteries would make the economies of scale work. Charging electric batteries is infinitely cheaper than diesel engines so across a fleet of trucks you can manage cost savings. Making electric vehicles more attractive.
With a network of fast charging systems the bigger the vehicle the larger the saving. Now can somebody go and develop those fast charging stations.