Route planning for electric trucks is dependent on the location and power of charging infrastructure, as well as the capacity and quality of batteries. By taking a look at European Union regulations for drivers, we can better understand how electric trucks fit into different types of operations. This will provide insights into the future of sustainable transportation.
Operations with electric charging only at depots restricts daily driving distance
Today, charging infrastructure is located at depots. That means trucks charge at the depot where they are based. They use half of that charge to drive to a location and the other half to drive back to the depot. With current charging infrastructure and trucks, that means the effective operating range for electric is around 240 km in total distance driven per day.
Operations with electric charging at the destination will double daily driving distance
Truck drivers in the European Union are allowed by law to drive for four and a half hours maximum, rest for 45 minutes, and then drive for another four and a half hour period. Ideally, electric trucks would charge fully during truck drivers’ mandated 45-minute rest break. This would double the total possible daily driving distance.
To make this route profile a reality, charging infrastructure must expand geographically and increase in power. Truck battery capacity and quality improvements will also have a positive effect on the number of route profiles possible with electric trucks.
Operations with electric highway charging will extend possibilities for long-haul electric
Beyond the core operations mentioned above, it is likely that electric trucks will operate in ways similar to how their diesel counterparts do today in the long run. That means that electric trucks will move freely among various areas of operation, taking advantage of loads as they become available. With dense networks of highway-based fast chargers, electric trucks could operate on multi-day routes that extend into the thousands of kilometers.
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