In logistics, the electric truck is the vehicle of the future. All major manufacturers now have at least one electric truck in their product range, and the trend is rising. After all, the purchase is also worthwhile for the transport companies. There are subsidies from the Federal Ministry of Transport and the electric transport vehicles are also exempt from the HGV toll. However, as a driver you will have to get used to the changeover.
Charging socket instead of filling station
Instead of the usual tank, you supply your electric truck with the necessary power to continue driving via a charging station. However, the corresponding network is not yet very well developed. Manufacturers such as Daimler are however responding to this problem by publishing apps that list the charging stations. The “eTruck Ready“ app from Daimler analyses the routes taken by conventional trucks and informs the drivers of their electric trucks whether and how they need to change the route in order to charge the electric motor frequently enough.
Before driving an electric truck
Before driving an electric truck, not only carry out the usual inspection, but also consult the manual to find out how high the consumption is and at what intervals it needs to be charged. Then use the app to find out where the charging stations are along the route. You can use it to plan your break times.
Charging may vary in price
Depending on when in the day you connect the truck to the charging station, prices may be higher or lower: The price of electricity is not the same throughout the day. Some apps include these price fluctuations in their calculations when making recommendations. Added to this is the fact that fast charging in a short break is more expensive than slow charging when you stop somewhere for the night.
Electric trucks are mainly used for shorter journeys
Even though the transition started long ago, there are still obstacles for electric trucks. At present they are still much more expensive than conventional trucks, and so the incentive for hauliers to switch to clean consumption is still relatively low. Most electric trucks that are currently already on the roads only travel short distances, for example in urban areas. They can be recharged night after night at the transport company’s premises. This is how they work reliably.
Electric trucks are currently used even less frequently for long haul journeys in Germany, because European models currently have a maximum range of up to 300 km. This will expand significantly in the years ahead, as will the number of charging stations. The construction costs for trucks with electric motors are also expected to fall, making them more attractive to purchase.
Summary: Better preparation – for the sake of the environment
If you are assigned an electric truck as a driver, you may have to adjust your previous routes slightly in order to use the charging stations. It is also important to plan your breaks so that the truck has enough power to tackle the next stage. Since the charging stations do not yet form a comprehensive network and many of the previous models are not yet being used for long-distance journeys, the changeover in the transport companies may still take some time.