Canadian fleets are beginning to adopt battery-electric vehicles, and the medium-duty segment is one of the first to jump onboard.
We spoke with Terry Maw, electrification specialist with Rush Truck Centres Canada, to ask who are the first buyers of electric trucks, what they need to think about before ordering their first electric truck, and questions about the charging requirements to support those vehicles.
Join us as we talk to Terry Maw in Part 1 of this two-part series, the ABCs of BEVs.
Canada has set some very ambitious targets when it comes to decarbonizing the transport industry. And the only way we’re going to get there is with the increased use of battery-electric vehicles.
In fact, as of today, battery-electric vehicles are one of the first zero-emissions options that are widely available. But incorporating EVs involves a learning curve and some adjustments to operations. Today we’re going to look at what your fleet needs to know about purchasing, deploying, and operating battery-electric trucks.
I’m James Menzies. This is Truck Trends. And this episode is the ABCs of BEVs.
To learn more about battery-electric vehicles and what fleets need to think about before taking the plunge or dipping their toe in the water, I’m here with Terry Maw. He’s with Rush Truck Centers Canada, and he’s the electrification specialist.
Terry, tell me a little bit about electrification — your experience with it so far and what customers are asking for.
The main thing this truck was brought in for is what everybody thought was going to be the natural, was the local delivery with electric trucks, or the final mile type thing, which has evolved into a lot of different things.
Originally, the idea was that these are going to be a one-day deal — so 200 km, 250 km maybe — and then back to the shop and charge there overnight. Or to another depot if you’re doing depot-to-depot for some of the cartage guys. But a lot of it’s courier business, local delivery stuff, moving or furniture vans, that kind of thing.
And now it’s evolving into landscape guys, you know, some heavier equipment guys that really don’t go a long distance, but they maybe burn a lot of hours and parking and waiting around and things like that.
So we’ve been working with diesel for 100 years. So it’s a big step, a big transition to go to electric. What do fleets really need to think about before they choose to buy that first electric truck?
Well, they’ve got to think about where they’re going every day, what range they need, what payload they need. A lot of that’s like a regular truck. This guy’s use different size fuel tanks and that kind of thing. But those are bigger factors in this case.
Something else that’s unique with electric trucks is that you’re not just buying a truck. You also have to buy the fueling infrastructure so to speak, the chargers. Can you show us what you chose to install?
This is a 30-kilowatt-hour DC charger, so it’s direct current.
Now one thing that’s happened very quickly is that the charging market has become very crowded. There’s all kinds of options out there. And what do you have to think about when choosing the right charging system for your fleet?
Probably the main thing is how fast you need to charge. So, this again is a 30-kilowatt-hour charger. This is a 210- kilowatt-hour battery. So you’re about seven hours from zero to full. It doesn’t take as long as a lot of people think. It all depends how long they’re. If they want their truck just to sit for an hour or two, it’s going to be very difficult to keep it charged. But not many people have a truck sitting less than a few hours a day where they can charge it easily.
So we’ve talked about the selection process for the trucks, for the chargers. The other big difference is how the trucks drive. Can we take it for a spin?
For Part 2, join us as we take you behind the wheel of the International EMV to get a feel for the driving experience. Terry Maw, Rush Truck Centers’ electrification expert, will be our driver.
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