Digitized Trucking Changing the Transport Industry for The Better
With more than 1.7 million truck drivers in the US alone, medium and heavy-duty trucks generate 23% of the total US transportation sector's overall greenhouse gas emissions. Such a huge portion of the total emission is the reason why the industry needs improvement. Electrifying and automating the truck industry has seen an increase over the past few years with more startups in Silicon Valley entering the new niche. Even though they share a common goal of using to technological advancement to revolutionizing trucking, each of these innovators has a different aim. Some seek to improve fuel use and emissions, while others want to reduce the number of truck-related accidents on the roads. All in all, electric trucks continue to capture the public spotlight, with e-commerce giants Amazon leading from the forefront of this new technology. Amazon is not alone as more tech, and automotive industry players have joined hands to champion electric trucks. These new entrants have created tremendous positive effects in the transportation including:
Efficient Parcel Delivery
The modern use of technology incorporated in parcel delivery through introducing package tracker and telemetric has enabled safer cargo and freight efficiency. However, every industry can usher in new improvements. Electric trucks combined with drones are the latest technology advancement witnessed in the trucking industry. Drones are mounted on top of delivery trucks to save on time and fuel unlike when using a warehouse-based drone.
The safety of other road users concerning electric trucks is also a beneficiary of this incredible technology. 1.4% of fatal truck accidents are as a result of driver-fatigue, but with electric and autonomous trucks, transportation is destined to be safer. Companies such as Daimler plan to use self-driving electric trucks to reduce stress on the drivers.
Fuel is another reason why Silicon Valley is venturing into trucking. Electric trucks are also known as "Zero-emissions" trucks due to their reduce petroleum consumption and having no tailpipe emissions. With the use of electricity to power trucks, less dependency on oil will be more attainable, and this will substantially reduce carbon emissions. Reduction of air pollution by use of the hybrid trucks will benefit the related healthcare sector as less respiratory cases will be reported. Less dependency on oil will have a significant reduction in the cost of transport and ultimately the overhead costs. As electric trucks depend on batteries, noise pollution will be a thing of the past. No more big-rig with blaring engine sounds on the roads will be witnessed.
Incorporation of electric trucks into the business case continues to meet several hurdles. Production volumes of electric trucks are still small and cannot realize price reductions, making purchasing of the electric truck an expensive endeavour. However, the partnerships with pioneering companies and incentives from organizations like the California HVIP are making it easier to purchase the trucks. The high prices for these trucks also result in the trucks having 70% more cost of their business insurance quotes than their gas partners. Nonetheless, the cost makes up for the service fees that one will incur in the case of a regular truck. The truck's batteries pose the largest challenge to the development of electric trucks. To fully utilize the electric truck's potential; long-haul distance trips will require a longer lasting and powerful battery. Technology for mass production of such powerful batteries is still in its infancy, making the vehicles expensive to own and maintain. Although still in its infancy, the electric trucks are bound to see increased use and development of technology to improve its efficiency and capabilities. The future holds much in store for electric trucks.