Zero emission trucks needed to meet climate targets
Even with a very ambitious comprehensive reform package including 40% fuel efficiency improvements for all medium and heavy duty trucks, and including trailer standards, the transport sector will not deliver its fair share of the 30% emission reductions required from each of the transport, buildings, and agricultural sectors.
In order to close this gap, 5-10% of new truck sales need to be zero emission by 2025 and 20-30% by 2030.
The weight and distance travelled by trucks pose a challenge to their electrification. However, the last few years have seen huge advancements in the technology – in battery density, in charging speed, in possible distance travelled, charge-on-the-move technology, and in cost. We are now on the verge of a major breakthrough in battery electric trucks with battery electric truck (BET) models starting in series production as early as next year, and alternative electrification models in testing.
Zero emission trucks can and will be cost-effective
The conditions for battery electric trucks have drastically changed since 2010. Compared to 2018, prices have come down by around a factor of 4, and densities have more than doubled. In simple terms, batteries are cheap enough and dense (or light) enough to be considered as a serious powersource for trucks.
A 2017 study by McKinsey confirms this, showing that electric trucks can already be cost-effective today, depending on the use, and will be more widely cost effective in the very near future. This is because:
- Less maintenance is needed compared to a combustion engine (which also means the vehicle has a longer lifetime)
- Battery prices are falling rapidly and will continue to do so (battery prices are projected to drop below 100$/kWh by 2025)
- In the current Eurovignette proposal, zero emission trucks receive a 50% discount compared to a Euro 6 truck