Fuel cell trucks poised for more fleet buy-in
For years, the U.S. heavy-duty trucking industry has been preparing itself for the inevitable changeover to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).
The impetus was stricter federal emission regulations, which has evolved into 15 states incrementally limiting the future sales of new commercial trucks with internal combustion engines.
As larger fleets vet the first wave of ZEVs, battery-electric trucks, they are finding motivation to adopt in the form of increased operational benefits, from lower total cost of ownership and fuel costs to better drivability and comfort (quieter and less vibrations). With those advantages, fleets must also take on new complexities, chiefly in how to charge these trucks’ batteries to leverage at times of the day when electricity is cheaper, factoring in optimal utilization.
While some fleets became early adopters for battery-electric vehicles a few years ago and have cracked some of the charging infrastructure puzzles, the funding, installation and operational challenges will confound many over the next decade.
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