The Current and Future Performance and Costs of Battery Electric Trucks: Review of Key Studies and A Detailed Comparison of Their Cost Modeling Scope and Coverage

This project aims to assess the current and future performance and costs of battery electric trucking, through reviewing key recent studies in the U.S. and presenting a detailed comparison of their cost modeling scope and coverage. This white paper presents a review of 10 recent studies of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of battery electric trucks (BET), now and in the future, compared to a baseline diesel truck, for the following 3 important types of truck: heavy-duty long-haul trucks, medium-duty delivery trucks, and heavy-duty drayage/short-haul trucks. The researchers break down the studies into their estimates for a range of important cost and operating factors, such as vehicle purchase cost, efficiency, fuel cost, maintenance cost, required range and thus battery pack sizing, and other factors. Of note are differences in major assumptions of studies and variables that are included or excluded from consideration. The authors do not judge these studies against each other but attempt to derive general findings that are robust across studies, areas of significant difference, and areas for further research. Overall, TCO estimates across the studies, for a given truck type, can vary dramatically, though often several studies cluster together. But as this study explores, the differences in TCO link directly to differences in assumptions, parameters and other differences across the studies. The studies vary in important ways that should be taken into account when comparing TCO estimates. Policy makers should consider the context of truck type, truck use and other factors when reading such studies, and pay attention to assumptions. Policies should reflect the wide range of situations that trucks may encounter and avoid assuming a simple average TCO across all situations.