As large companies come under pressure to reach carbon emission goals or reach net-zero operations, the demand for all electric vehicles is on the rise. An increasing number of automobile makers are announcing plans to build semi trucks, big rigs, or delivery trucks, whether they are powered by electric batteries or hydrogen. Electric semi-truck companies are the ones to watch for the future of trucking. Innovation in electric semi trucks makes considering an all-electric fleet a financial possibility for more companies in the next decades. Considering the significant emissions of the global trucking and transport industry, this conflict could be a win for both businesses and the environment.
Will Electric Trucks Take Over?
Electric semi truck companies could play a key role in the trucking industry. With an increasing focus on environmental sustainability and increasing pressure on companies to demonstrate sustainability, electric trucks could be an important solution.
Electric vehicle technology still needs to develop to meet critical needs and widespread acceptance. With time and advancement, electric semi trucks could be the future of the trucking industry.
7 Upcoming Electric Semi Truck Companies
If you’re considering investing in electric semi trucks, here are seven companies to keep an eye on for their current innovation and future market growth:
Tesla is a historical leader in the electric vehicle industry. With a history of innovation, Tesla claims that the Semi is the safest and most comfortable truck in the industry. It also boasts one of the lowest costs per mile.
Estimated Production Date: Production is planned for 2023
- 300-mile range
- 500- to 600-mile range
Commercial Vehicle Type: Heavy-duty semi trucks for short and medium-haul deliveries.
Tesla Semi Benefits
- Fast acceleration and power
- Low energy consumption
Tesla Semi Compares to the Competition
Tesla stands out for the quality of the trucks, safety, and innovation. Known for high quality and environmental commitment, the Tesla Semi is one to watch as it enters the market next year.
German-based Daimler Trucks is the largest producer of commercial vehicles in the world. Daimler Trucks is best known for their Mercedes-Benz brand, but their reach is far greater.
Some estimates suggest that they account for about 40% of the North American heavy-duty truck industry. Daimler Trucks has now announced four new electric offerings: two large trucks, a school bus, and a box truck. Daimler Trucks is at the forefront as an electric semi truck company.
Estimated Production Date: Entering production in 2022
- 18-wheeler Freightliner eCascadia: 250 mile range
- Freightliner eM2 106: 230 mile range
- Electric box truck and school bus: short range local deliveries
Commercial Vehicle Type:
- Class 8 truck Freightliner eCascadia
- Freightliner eM2 106 for local distribution and deliveries
- All-electric box truck
- School bus
Daimler Trucks Benefits
- Fast recharge: 80% in 90 minutes
- Zero emissions
- Exceptional safety record
- Financial incentives
- Excellent customer support
How Daimler Trucks Compares To the Competition
Given its reputation and market dominance, Daimler Trucks has the potential to lead the all-electric semi truck and electric tractor-trailer revolution. Combining a reputation for excellence and one of the biggest names in the industry, Daimler Trucks has the potential to make electric semi trucks the new industry norm.
Nikola Motors is an Arizona-based startup that is an emerging pioneer in the electric trucking world. Nikola Motors plans to offer trucks with the option of fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell electric.
To support the hydrogen fuel cell trucks, Nikola Motors aims to put 700 hydrogen fueling stations across the US and encourage compatibility with other automobile producers. With hydrogen fueling stations, it should only take 10 to 15 minutes for you to refuel a Nikola Motors semi truck.
Estimated Production Date: Delivered 17 December 2021
Estimated Range: 500 to 700 miles
Commercial Vehicle Type: 3 semi-truck models
Nikola Motors Benefits
- Hydrogen fuel cells make Nikola Motors trucks about 5,000 pounds lighter than trucks with lithium ion batteries
- Efficient fueling with hydrogen cells
- Early electric market leader, with Anheauser-Busch placing orders for 800 trucks
How Nikola Motors Compares to the Competition
Nikola Motors stands out with its hydrogen fuel cell technology. That, combined with the relatively long range of its semis makes the Nikola Motors semi a fit for a large range of local and medium-haul deliveries.
BYD is already the world’ largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. BYD made a name for itself by producing electric buses. Now, they are an industry leader in the production of medium and heavy-duty trucks.
Estimated Production Date: 100 trucks already delivered in early 2020
Estimated Range: 125 miles
Commercial Vehicle Type:
- Class 8 semi truck
- Class 6 truck
- Terminal tractor
- Two refuse trucks
- Excellent reputation for electric vehicles
- Charging time as little as two hours with a high-speed direct current system
- Already delivered 100 electric trucks in the US; adopted by DHL and Anheuser-Busch
How BYD Compares to the Competition
BYD currently leads the competition in production and on-road trucks. With a well-known reputation for reliable electric vehicles and existing relationships with major companies like DHL and Anheuser-Busch, BYD can capture a significant market share. As the drive for net-zero operations trucking continues, watch for BYD to be a major player.
Volvo has been a key company in the automobile industry for decades. Now, Volvo trucks has developed zero-emission trucks in conjunction with the California Climate Investments. In 2020 they launched their first 23 battery electric vehicles in Southern California.
Estimated Production Date: Already in production
Estimated Range: 275 miles
Commercial Vehicle Type:
- 5 varieties of Class 8 vehicles
- Regional transportation trucks
Volvo Trucks Benefits
- Month-to-month lease agreements
- Lease options for charging installation and infrastructure
- Proven track record: two years of road testing
- Custom design options
How Volvo Trucks Compares to the Competition
Volvo trucks has tapped into increasing government funding for climate solutions with the California Air Resources Board. Expect to see more Volvo trucks in California, and eventually across the US.
Workhorse trucks is a Cincinnati-based electric truck startup specialized in all-electric delivery vehicles. The Workhorse group made headlines for securing contracts with several major companies including Pritchard and Ryder Companies. Keep an eye on Workhorse Trucks as they position to capture part of the USPS $6.3 billion budget for 186,000 new mail trucks.
Estimated Production Date: Early 2022
Estimated Range: 100 miles
Commercial Vehicle Type:
- Short-range delivery vehicles
- All-electric pickup truck
Workhorse Trucks Benefits
- Speeds up to 75 MPH
- Excellent quality
- Potential for widespread use with the USPS
How Workhorse Trucks Compares to the Competition
While the Workhorse Group competes for the USPS contract, they cannot release details of their prototypes. But if awarded, Workhorse trucks could become one of the leading electric trucks in the US.
Arrival is a London-based startup that has attracted significant investment in North America in recent years. This includes an order of 10,000 electric vans purpose-built for UPS and delivered through 2024. Arrival intends to distinguish itself from competitors by undercutting prices and through increased customization options in its “micro-factories”.
Estimated Production Date: Arrival has already delivered 100 battery-electric trucks in the US by 2020.
Estimated Range: At least 100 miles
Commercial Vehicle Type:
- Delivery vans
- Custom-ordered trucks
- Low cost that are comparable to fossil-fuel vehicles
- Vehicle customization
- Already on the road for more than two years
How Arrival Compares to the Competition
Arrival stands out from competitors with its micro-factories that allow for additional customization. This could allow them to capture the market of major companies looking for purpose-built delivery vehicles.
How Do Electric Semi Trucks Work?
Electric semi-trucks work by sending AC power to the electric motor to create torque. Rotational energy is then moved to the electric powertrain. This causes the wheels to turn and the vehicle to accelerate.
In electric trucks, there is also brake recuperation, which recharges the energy of braking. In this case, energy travels from the emotor to the inverter and back to the battery.
Average Cost of an Electric Semi Truck
Electric semi trucks are still relatively new to the market. Fewer competitors and new technology mean higher prices. Tesla’s semi truck costs from $150,000 to $180,000. A Nikola semi truck is currently listed at $270,000.
Keep in mind not only the upfront costs but the maintenance and fuel costs for electric vehicles.
How Will Electric Semi Truck Companies Change the Industry?
Over time, commercial electric vehicles have the potential to change the trucking and transportation industries. For carriers, electric semi trucks could lead to lower fuel costs and fewer maintenance costs. For companies, switching to electric semi trucks has the potential to help them achieve environmental sustainability along with financial savings in the long term.
Better for Business and the Environment
Upcoming electric semi truck companies could shake up the transportation industry. With companies looking to meet green business goals, demand will continue to rise. As the companies listed here and other upcoming electric truck companies continue to innovate and customize, we can expect to see prices decrease while performance rises. While electric semi trucks are still new, we can expect to see increasing market adoption over the next decades.
There are many companies coming out with electric trucks. This includes Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Tesla, and all the companies listed here.
Many semi truck companies have announced that semi trucks will be available in 2022. This includes Tesla and Freightliner.
Semi trucks have the potential to replace diesel over time. The MIT Technology Review reports that the grid is ready to support semi trucks on short trips while the technology develops for long haul trips. The technology is continuing to develop and improve to better handle many challenges to become the industry norm.
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