Truck in front of warehouse

Seeing an electric car is no longer unusual. But trucks – from tractor-trailers to delivery vehicles – are another story.

“Electric trucks are not widespread at all,” says consultant David Gardiner, whose firm is part of a joint initiative that’s assessing the market for electric trucks.

He says there are obstacles to widespread use. Despite the falling price of batteries, electric trucks cost more up front. And they have to be recharged often, which can be a barrier to using them for long hauls.

“Now the good news is that 80% of trucking in the United States is less than 250 miles,” Gardiner says. “There’s a lot more trucking that happens that’s, frankly, pretty short range, which is good news for the potential for electric vehicles.”

And he says companies are eager to go electric to meet climate goals and save money on fuel.

“You should also have lower maintenance costs because there are just simply fewer moving parts in an electric engine,” Gardiner says.

So he says offering government incentives to reduce the up-front costs and adding charging stations could help get more electric trucks on the road.

“If we do some smart things in the course of the next couple of years, there’s a big opportunity for carbon reductions here,” he says. “And that’s an exciting opportunity.”

Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media.