While many technological advancements cause products to get smaller (compare a cell phone from the 1980s to even the largest of smartphones), advancements in electric power are allowing the size of all-electric vehicles to grow, with the advent of electric trucks approaching more quickly than you might expect. Increasingly stringent emissions standards, government incentives, and falling battery costs incentivize the electrification of these vehicles. Here are three vehicle companies to watch in the coming years.
In November 2017, Tesla unveiled its Tesla Semi prototype. The fully electric class 8 truck is powered by four independent motors and boasts a 500-mile range and a 1 million mile operational guarantee. A planned network of global, high-speed DC charging stations would give these trucks an additional 400 miles of range per charge.
The vehicle features an integrated navigation system and electronic logging device, as well as blind spot sensors. Advanced autonomous vehicle control systems come standard on the vehicle, with ADAS features such as:
- automatic lane keep
- automatic emergency braking
- forward collision warning
- lane departure warnings
Although production of the Tesla Semi is slated for 2019, the company already has hundreds of preorders, many of which are from fleets in Canada due to a government incentive of up to US$59,000 per vehicle in the province of Ontario.
A China-based electric vehicle company, BYD already maintains an electric bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster, California and delivered its first all-electric automated side-loader garbage truck to the city of Palo Alto in late 2017. The vehicle has a range of 76 miles per full charge and a charge time of two to three hours.
In November 2017, the company announced plans to expand its electric truck effort in North America by opening an electric truck plant in Ontario, Canada. The decision to have a plant in Canada was made due to numerous factors, including:
- the lower costs associated with building the vehicles in Canada rather than shipping them from China
- lower barriers to entry for Chinese products in Canada compared to the US
- provincial tax incentives, such as the aforementioned Ontario incentive
Since Canada has been losing automotive investment due to cheaper production capabilities in the US and Mexico, these considerations present an opportunity to help rebuild motor vehicle manufacturing in the country.
Like BYD, Daimler already has all-electric medium-duty trucks on the road in the US and began sales in Europe in December 2017. Moreover, the company’s Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation has announced intentions to electrify its complete range of trucks and buses in the coming years and is the first OEM to dedicate a brand – the E-Fuso – exclusively to the production of all-electric vehicles.
Daimler is also developing all-electric class 8 trucks and unveiled its E-Fuso Vision One prototype in October 2017, underscoring its growing rivalry with Tesla, which revealed its all-electric semi prototype mere weeks later. The E-Fuso Vision One prototype has a 220-mile range with an 11-ton cargo and is geared toward shorter, intra-city trips. Daimler’s all-electric heavy-duty truck is anticipated to see production and sales in Europe, Japan, and the US by 2021.
Other Notable Competitors
Many other notable truck manufacturers are entering the electric truck market, and Cummins, Eaton, and Navistar have announced electrification projects in various stages of completion. In addition, startups such as Chanje, Nikola, and Wrightspeed are posed to compete in the all-electric medium- and heavy-duty truck market going forward.
To Find Out More
Need more information? For historical demand data and forecasts by product, performer, and country, see The Freedonia Group’s North American Medium- & Heavy-Duty Truck Aftermarket study. This study also covers market environment factors, industry structure, company market share, and leading companies.
About the Author:
E. Reta Sober is an industry analyst at The Freedonia Group where she writes studies related to electrical equipment, machinery, and the automotive industry.