Electric trucks could challenge diesels soon if charging hurdle is overcome: study

STOCKHOLM, Apr 8 (Reuters) – Electric heavy trucks will soon be able to compete economically with their diesel peers thanks to rapid advances in battery technology, a study by the Swedish group Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) showed on Thursday. in English).

A shift towards green technologies in the transport sector, which generates about a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions, is considered important to help achieve globally agreed climate targets.

The option of replacing diesel trucks with battery-powered trucks has often been undervalued because of its high cost and the enormous weight of batteries for long-distance transportation.

But SEI researchers said a tipping point was now looming.

“Battery technology is very close to a threshold that makes electric trucks viable and economically competitive. All that is missing is a complementary component: fast charging,” said Bj√∂rn Nykvist, principal investigator at SEI.

The study, which evaluated the costs, energy use and weight of the batteries, showed that the availability of fast charging and high capacity was key, as that meant that the truck batteries could be kept relatively small and light.

This should be an incentive for the private sector and authorities to focus on increasing the availability of charging infrastructure, said co-author Olle Olsson.

“In many environments, electric freight trucks can play an important role in reducing emissions from heavy transport,” he said.

Research by Capgemini Invent, part of the Capgemini Group, recently showed that electric trucks are among the 55 clean technologies that can help the European Union reach its goal of climate neutrality by mid-century.

(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)