This blog was featured in the inaugural edition Energy Driven, a bi-monthly publication of Edison’s Transportation Electrification team delivering timely, impactful news happening across the evolving transportation sector. Click here to sign up and get Energy Driven directly to your inbox.
Enticing incentives, sleek technology, and environmental benefits are just a few of the factors driving greater adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). With passenger, or light-duty, EVs finding their groove in the transportation industry, the electrification transition has begun to turn more towards medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs).
We are all aware of how much we rely on these vehicles to transport petroleum, packages, and people each day. What is slightly more surprising, however, is that while MHDVs make up just 5% of vehicles on the road, they account for 21% of U.S. transportation related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
Pressure from legislators and consumers have compelled enterprises to consider transitioning away from their diesel fleets to reduce GHG and tailpipe emissions, as well as to move closer towards their corporate social responsibility goals.
One thing to note, however, is that internal pressure for companies to improve their bottom line and hedge against future uncertainty has always been present. MHDV commercial vehicles are business assets expected to generate a return, and their electric counterparts can potentially bring about greater efficiency, reduced fuel price volatility, and a lower total cost of ownership.
To meet growing EV demand, several major manufacturers, along with some start-ups, have announced or released their own electric MHDV models. As we continue to prepare for a fully electric future, we must plan for all potential impacts, including an increase in electricity demand when millions of vehicles are charging at once – especially since MHDVs have a higher energy density and greater energy needs.
As U.S. sales and registrations of MHDVs continue to rise, so too will electricity demand to charge vehicles. This is a result of increased charging frequency due to varying battery capacities, travel routes, and payloads of MHDVs. Just as you need to refuel an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, you must recharge an EV.
Typically, direct-current fast-charging (DCFC) stations are utilized when charging MHDVs, which on average have an output range of between 50kW and 350kW per hour. This allows for an expedited charge for a range of 20-70 miles per 20-30 minutes of charge.
As an example, charging the Tesla Semi long-haul truck with a range of 500 miles, with an efficiency of 1.7 kWh per mile, would take approximately 3.5 hours (1,225 kW) to fully charge using the maximum output. In addition, while not in use (idle), DCFC chargers utilize between 0.5-1.0 kW.
In other words, power is being used around the clock to either support or fully fuel EVs and their infrastructure. Assuming all MHDV had the same efficiency of 1.7 kWh per mile, there would need to be 539.24 Terawatt-hours of energy needed for charging (or 539,240,000,000,000 watt-hours) – roughly equivalent to the annual energy of 50.7 million single family homes.
This isn’t as improbable as it may seem, considering that electrification agendas proposed by local, state, and national governments aim to either fully transition or phase in zero-emission EVs by 2035 or 2050. While this shift won’t happen overnight, the need to accommodate EVs and their charging infrastructure is quickly approaching, as is the need to find solutions to growing dependence on the electrical grid.
While the amount of charging power needed may sound astronomical, the question is: how can we mitigate the impact of MHDV charging activities on what some have seen as an already overworked power grid?
The electrified future of heavy-duty vehicles is likely closer than we think, as indicated by global sales of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks in 2021, which more than doubled over 2020 volumes, while total sales volumes remained the same as the previous year.
As policies continue to be implemented, incentives become readily available, and capital costs for vehicles drop, we anticipate that the current trajectory will continue. It will be critical to remain “two-steps ahead” and to prepare for the implications of vehicle electrification, particularly added capacity.
Ready to start your organization’s electrification journey? Please reach out to Sage McLaughlin, Director Business Development.
For more information, check out our Transportation Electrification Blog Series.
Tucatinib intermediates Water Cooled Screw Chiller Square Glass Bottle Flat Square Glass Bottles Square Spirits Glass Bottle Custom Glass Bottles Unique Shaped Spirit Glass Bottles Snack Food Multihead Weigher Spatial truss Steel Truss Stadiums custom paper jewelry boxes onion cold storage icu bed RPET Material Rpet Fabric Clutch Release Bearing