The Current and Future Performance and Costs of Battery Electric Trucks

There has been considerable research in the past 2-3 years on the viability, performance and cost of battery electric trucks (BETs). Various estimates have been made of key attributes (vehicle price, weight, payload, range, operating and energy costs) for trucks operating in a range of applications. Depending on the specific estimates and the class of truck, various findings are possible, from BETs being highly cost effective compared to diesel, to being relatively non-cost-effective; from being quite capable of performing in various conditions and duty cycles, to being inadequate. There is a notable lack of agreement in certain key areas such as weight/payload compromises and real-world driving range. This white paper will review the key literature and estimates (including those of this research group and others), attempt to understand the reason for differences and resolve them, and undertake sensitivity analysis and a “final” robust analysis with conclusions about the best applications of BETs and where they may be very challenged to replace diesels. The research team will consider a range of truck types and both near term (e.g., 2020-23) and long term (e.g., 2030-35) sets of estimates. The results will help policymakers in prioritizing how to deploy BETs and the needed policy support.

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