As I walk neighborhoods listening to neighbors’ concerns and thoughts, I am often struck by how dominant the highway noise has become in a lot of places. As well, I tried to have a business meeting on main street Hailey outside a coffee shop, and it was almost impossible over the truck noise. However, this noise pollution may be gone within 10 years; the future is coming much faster than many realize. Electric buses, garbage trucks, and regional haul trucks are already here now.
“The switch to electric trucks will make a significant contribution to those efforts by cutting down on engine noise. Electric vehicles do not idle when stopped or parked, and they make far less noise than diesel engines while on the move.” 1
“There were just over 2,000 electric trucks on U.S. roads at the end of 2019. This stock is expected to grow to over 54,000 by 2025, according to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie.” 2
Traditional truck manufacturers are rapidly rolling out models, especially in the regional haul market, where the average 300 electric range matches routes. “Peterbilt is leading the charge when it comes to commercial vehicle electrification featuring a full lineup of EV models, with over 30 out collecting real world miles,” said Jason Skoog, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “With the addition of the Model 220EV to our SmartSpec sales tool, Peterbilt dealers can easily spec and quote exactly what customers have been asking for in a zero-emission, medium-duty truck.” 3
My all-electric passenger car in Idaho is estimated to save me $632 annually in fuel costs, according to Idaho Power’s website, https://www.idahopower.com/energy-environment/green-choices/electric-vehicles/. Over 10 years, that would add up to $6,320 in savings in fuel, not to mention no oil change costs! Idaho has some of the cheapest electricity rates in the nation, but electric trucks nationwide are still estimated to have lower fuel and maintenance costs.
“Over an expected 12-year lifetime (without a battery replacement), the e-truck’s fuel costs are estimated to be 37 percent lower and maintenance costs 46 percent lower than a diesel truck driving the same distance.” 4
People wondered if electric trucks would be up to heavy-duty tasks, but, “That concern has been put to rest by the waste management firm Republic Services. The company has just inked a deal with the startup Nikola Corp. for up to 5,000 battery-operated waste hauling and recycling collection trucks. … Nikola states that its Tre electric drive platform will deliver instant torque along with three times more horsepower than diesel or natural gas engines. In particular, the new electric trucks will be capable of traveling uphill with full loads, a feat that can be problematic for compressed natural gas engines. Republic will not have to pay extra for the improved performance. In fact, the company anticipates saving money on maintenance costs.”
I have been to investor conferences where speakers proclaim that my 27-year-old daughter’s children won’t have driver’s licenses as they won’t need them, as all the cars will be autonomous driven in 14-16 years. I am not too sure about that prediction, but I do think that anyone with fleet vehicles should look into electric vehicles now, as it will save operating costs, especially in Idaho. Sheriff? County appraisers and land use? Clear Creek Disposal? The county’s rapid electric vehicle charger at the County Annex is almost open for business!