It is no surprise to most people out on the road, regardless of how many wheels are on their vehicle, that one of the biggest obstacles to implementing electric vehicles is the lack of infrastructure. With limited range and even more limited refueling stations across the country, electric vehicles, especially trucks, are hardly viable. Germany-based Daimler trucks, the company behind famous trucks brands Freightliner and Western Star, has decided to put their foot forward in helping make battery-powered commercial trucks the standard. They call it the eTruck Charging Initiative.
eTruck Charging Initiative to Unite Supply Chain
A lot of effort goes into making what few charging stations currently operate do so effectively. Stakeholders involved with a single charging station can include:
- Power grid operators to make sure the implementation of a new system of high current electricity does not cause an overload of the system, creating a brownout/blackout.
- Energy suppliers, including coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, and wind turbine plants.
- Architects to design the charging facility to accommodate the weather, especially rain.
- Hardware builders to both design blueprints and build many charging stations in a row.
- Software developers to make sure that the chargers can be used by a variety of trucking brands and can adjust current based on the truck battery’s current charge.
- Electric truck companies, such as Daimler Trucks itself.
- The number of trucks that need charging at any given time, increasing the amount of work for all of the above.
The eTruck Charging Initiative is intended to create dialogue between the parties so that the development and rollout of these stations are quicker and cleaner than it has been in the past decade.
“The earlier and more exactly the energy suppliers and power grid operators know what customers’ infrastructure requirements are, the faster and more efficiently they can build them up,” a Daimler representative said in an interview about the eTruck Charging Initiative.
Currently the Initiative is focusing on the United States and Europe, with plans to expand into Japan to follow.
Daimler also hopes that accelerated development through the eTruck Charging Initiative will also help make depot charging, truckers having personal charging stations in their respective base of operations, more than just a luxury for the largest of company fleets. Daimler has stated some benefits to depot charging:
- Reduced cost per kWh and a lower total cost of ownership make the system eventually pay for itself.
- Fewer actors in a charging session means less paperwork. Theoretically, the electricity costs of charging would be included in the same electric bill as the building.
- Dedicated, private charging stations for the fleet means less waiting in line, if any at all.
- Allows overnight charging without a truck needing to be parked off the premises.
Through both the eTruck Charging Initiative and depot charging, Daimler Trucks hopes to make electric commercial vehicles, which Daimler claims have the highest efficiency among alternative drive systems, much more common than they have been in the past decade. They are not the sole company hoping to bring forth an electric vehicle revolution, but they are one of the few working outside themselves to help bring the vision to reality.
Article courtesy of TopMark Funding.