The charging conundrum faced by commercial electric trucks

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The charging conundrum faced by commercial electric trucks

LAS VEGAS — Electric truck builders are sounding the alarm on the lack of charging infrastructure and the time it takes to build as the freight and logistics industry transitions to zero-emission transport.

Daimler Truck North America CEO John O’Leary told Automotive News his company has both the manufacturing capacity and customer interest to sell 2,000 Freightliner eCascadia electric trucks this year, but there is a lack of chargers to support them.

“Our customers need to be able to charge any of their trucks anywhere they are,” O’Leary said as Daimler prepared to unveil the SuperTruck II, an extra-efficient concept model of its diesel Freightliner, on Wednesday at the Manifest freight and logistics conference here.

There is almost no public infrastructure to power large electric trucks. The charging systems going into distribution centers and other facilities are only trickling forward, hindered by long delays from utilities and the local government permitting process.

Charging is the single-largest barrier to electric truck deployment, said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

That has created a vast mismatch between customer interest and charger access.

“There is not going to be enough, fast enough” to satisfy demand, O’Leary said. Read the full story here.
— Jerry HirschWhat you need to know

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SHIFT PODCAST: Don Burnette navigates road toward self-driving truck deployments (Episode 183)


The Kodiak Robotics CEO discusses economic headwinds facing the autonomous-driving industry, how his company is positioned to avoid them and the timeline for deploying driverless trucks in commercial service.

Listen to the Podcast >


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