Photo: East Bay Express.
Zero emissions Class 8 heavy-duty Class 8 18-wheelers are a reality today. The innovative Kansas City company Orange EV is the first and only company to make all-electric big rigs commercially available. Their electric terminal trucks are operating throughout the country.
However, over-the-road electric Class 8 trucks are another story – to date only prototype and demonstration zero emissions Class 8 trucks capable of operating on public highways have been produced.
But, the marketplace is changing rapidly, and other companies, some established and some new, are jumping into the fray. As a result, within a few years we may see a strong shift from dirty diesel to zero-emissions trucking on public highways. A few examples, followed by references for more information:
As we reported late last year in Nikola announces “The end of diesel engines”… electric Class 8 heavy-duty trucks using power generated by hydrogen fuel cells will be truly zero-emissions if the hydrogen is generated by solar energy. Nikola Motors has an ambitious and innovative plan to do that on the national level by 2020, with solar-powered refueling stations on major truck routes throughout the country. Their solution has a number of other innovative features, and they have produced a very impressive demonstration vehicle.
By the end of 2016, Nikola reported that they had received over 7,000 preorders worth over $2 billion.
“Say goodbye to the days of dirty diesel…”
Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company
Mercedes-Benz is also moving into this market, and has promised to deliver prototypes of its all-electric mid-range (124 miles) Urban eTruck this year, and produce it commercially in 2020.
Last week, two more firms joined the zero emissions trucking race – Tesla announced that they have an electric semi under production, and Toyota developed a prototype hydrogen-electric drayage truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles.
For the latest news, check out the articles below.