However, researchers were uncertain whether the grid could handle multiple electric trucks charging simultaneously in one place. Unlike electric vehicles, which have relatively low power requirements and are distributed nearby, fleets of electric trucks can strain the distribution system.
Power distribution relies on substations that serve small areas, typically a few square miles (although this depends largely on population density). If an area suddenly exceeds the capacity of a substation, it can cause a power outage. A major upgrade may be required to accommodate more electric trucks without causing that problem. This is costly and can take months or even years to run.
Borlaug and his colleagues modeled substation requirements using data from real diesel delivery vehicles. The team estimated the charging needs of the electric fleet, taking into account how far the trucks drove and how much time they spent on the home base.
“Approximately 80-90% of the substations we surveyed were able to accommodate a fleet of up to 100 trucks without the need for major upgrades,” says Borlaug. He added that if the fleet chose a slower speed to manage charging to avoid stress on the grid, fewer substations would need to be upgraded.
However, the truck industry has historically been slow to adopt new technologies, said Ben Sharp, an analyst at the International Clean Transport Council, a non-profit research group that studies the transport sector. Some states are even considering incentives and requirements to fine-tune the fleet for electrification.
The state of California passed the regulation in June 2020, mandating that most of the heavy-duty trucks sold by 2035 have zero emissions. The state also has an extensive voucher system to subsidize the cost of purchasing a new electric vehicle. “We can’t exaggerate the importance of California truck regulation,” says Sharpe. He adds that about half of all electric trucks currently running on US and Canadian roads are in California, primarily as a result of these programs.
Other US states follow California’s initiative. In July 2020, 15 states signed new regulations requiring all new medium and heavy vehicles to have zero emissions by 2050.
Short-range electric trucks appear to be relatively close to commercial reality, but some researchers say that expanding the range of electric trucks may not be technically or economically feasible in the short term. I warn you that there is no such thing.
Venkat Viswanathan, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University, said: And as batteries get cheaper and lighter, trucks that can travel up to about 500 miles between charges look more realistic, says Viswanathan.
Electric trucks can travel (short) distances
Source link Electric trucks can travel (short) distances