|Title||Working Paper 005: Long-haul battery electric trucks are technically feasible and economically compelling|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Amol A Phadke, Aditya Khandekar, Margaret McCall, Nihan Karali, Deepak Rajagopal|
|Keywords||electric vehicles, transportation|
Zero emission freight trucks are critical to meet global climate goals and reduce air pollution. Technological constraints and economic conditions have generally suggested that electrifying this sector is challenging; however, the emerging reality is different. We assess how recent dramatic improvements in battery technology make it technically feasible and potentially economically attractive to electrify heavy-duty trucking if charging infrastructure needs are met and cost-effective electricity pricing is available. We use the latest data on battery technology and detailed component-level cost and performance data for trucks to estimate the total cost of ownership of electric trucks. We estimate the TCO of an electric truck to be $1.27/mile, 20% less than that of a diesel truck, assuming trucks can access average industrial electricity prices of about $0.07/kWh which require reforms in electricity tariffs to make demand and transmission charges peak-coincident. We find that if environmental externalities, such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are monetizable, the TCO of an electric truck could be as low as $0.95/mile, 40% lower than a diesel truck. We also show that electric trucks with a 250-mile range can have the same weight as diesel trucks with realistic improvements to battery packing fractions, and that weight parity for 500-mile-range trucks is achievable with commercially available lightweighting options and about 3.5% reduction in maximum payload capacity. We conclude that adequate fast charging infrastructure and electricity prices that reflect true system costs can unlock a major environmental and economic opportunity by enabling electrification of freight. If battery prices continue to fall and battery pack density continues to increase at even half the current rates, long-haul battery electric trucks will become dramatically more attractive.
|Refereed Designation||Does Not Apply|