Electric trucks to grow fast from now through 2030: report


Cummins Urban Hauler Tractor concept

Cummins Urban Hauler Tractor concept

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In the coming years, the world's auto industry will continue to shift its product mix to electric and electrified vehicles to meet growing concerns over carbon emissions and stringent fuel-economy regulations across the globe.

However, the passenger-car segment isn't the only area that will see electric powertrains implemented.

A new study suggests the market for electric trucks—light, medium, and heavy-duty commercial trucks—is on the verge of booming.

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Released by McKinsey Energy Insights, the study looked at three key factors that will influence the adoption of electric trucks.

The most important drivers of adoption, it said, will be cost parity between electric trucks and diesel-powered trucks, electrification readiness, and a supportive electric-vehicle environment.

With those three factors in mind, the study projected electric trucks' upcoming boom in the marketplace; by 2030, the electric models could account for 15 percent of total truck sales.

Teaser for Tesla semi truck debuting in September

Teaser for Tesla semi truck debuting in September

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The sales figures will vary by area, since each of the three major markets the study studied—China, Europe, and the United States—has unique characteristics.

McKinsey Energy Insights pins Europe as the earliest adopter of electric trucks, thanks to higher fuel prices and a supportive environment for electric vehicles in general.

Specifically, it projects light-duty trucks will reach cost parity between now and 2021, while heavy-duty trucks will achieve parity in Europe by 2027.

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In the United States, the study paints a very different picture.

Thanks to lower price differentials between diesel and electricity, the U.S. isn't likely to embrace electric trucks as quickly as Europe.

The U.S. is also a vastly different landscape, and batteries will be tasked with going longer distances—boosting costs and perhaps requiring additional technology and other improvements.

Chanje medium-duty electric truck

Chanje medium-duty electric truck

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While Europe reaches cost parity by 2021, neither the U.S. nor China will likely achieve parity until 2030 or later, the study says.

China faces similar hurdles to those in the U.S.: range, battery technology, and distances covered.

The supply of electric trucks will likely outweigh a sufficient charging infrastructure in the U.S. and China for some time, per the study.

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Regulatory forces make up the final facet of electric truck adoption rates.

A few European countries have already announced various bans on fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the coming decades, and China has just rolled out its first electric-car quotas to begin in 2019.

These regulations will increasingly shape the electric truck market as they materialize.

Arrival UK Royal Mail electric postal van

Arrival UK Royal Mail electric postal van

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In the United States, it remains somewhat unclear how particular states and cities could or would implement such regulations.

If similar bans occur, you can probably count on California to lead the change in the U.S.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Green Car Reports thanks our tipster, who prefers to remain an International Man of Mystery.]

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