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Electric trucks remain very much a show-me story in general. For less-than-truckload carriers, electric vehicles (EVs) may be a no-show unless certain things change.
The lack of a robust infrastructure and recharging time are the twin bogeymen, but more so for LTL carriers than for their truckload brethren. That’s because LTL carriers operate vehicles in both local pickup and delivery and in over-the-road services. This dual-use operation effectively keeps trucks utilized 20 hours out of a 24-hour cycle. Once LTL trucks age out five years, they are typically moved into local service only for the remainder of an approximately eight-to-10-year lifecycle.
To calculate EV’s cost effectiveness in the LTL world, Charlie Prickett, president and COO of LTL giant AAA Cooper Transportation, uses the ratio of charging time to operating time. Currently, EVs get about six to seven hours of charge time, which would produce the equivalent of about eight hours of operating time, or about 400 miles, according to Prickett.
The subsequent charge cycle would take that vehicle out of use for large LTL fleets at critical times in their operations, Prickett said. This would require Cooper to add more trucks and drivers to replace one truck that could otherwise perform a full day’s work, he added.
Read more in an article from FreightWaves.