Electrifying trucks: a power surge in energy demand

The rise of electric trucks is reshaping the transportation industry and promising a greener future. However, this shift is accompanied by a significant surge in energy consumption, demanding swift action from governments and industries.
Arthur D. Little reveals that by 2030, electric trucks may consume nearly half the energy required by their passenger vehicle counterparts. Despite electric trucks representing only 1% of the electric vehicle fleet, a single electric truck is estimated to require about 80 megawatt-hours annually, a staggering 43 times more than the average electric passenger car.

Implications for Energy Infrastructure

This spike in energy demand will place immense pressure on energy grids and generation facilities. To put things in perspective, by 2030, the electricity demand from electric trucks in Europe alone could account for 1.5% of the region’s total electricity consumption in 2019. Combined with electric passenger vehicles, this figure rises to nearly 5%. It’s evident that expanding renewable energy generation and grid infrastructure capacity is critical. Most operators are unprepared to meet these power requirements by 2040, necessitating immediate government intervention in long-term network planning and approval processes.

The Rise of DC Charging

Amidst these challenges, DC (direct current) charging technology stands out as a promising solution. Projections suggest that electric trucks will drive nearly 65% of the demand for energy delivered by DC chargers by 2030, surpassing public DC passenger vehicle chargers post-2025. DC chargers offer higher performance, quality, and uptime, making them attractive for businesses. Moreover, advancements in DC technology driven by electric trucks are expected to benefit the passenger vehicle sector and open doors to various energy-related value pools, such as grid balancing through vehicle-to-grid (V2X) and bidirectional charging.

Conclusion

The electrification of trucks represents a pivotal moment in the transportation industry, with profound implications for energy consumption, infrastructure, and charging technology. Stakeholders must collaborate to ensure a smooth transition to a sustainable future. As the road to electrification unfolds, governments and industries must act promptly to meet growing energy demands and seize the opportunities this transformation presents.

Source: Truck electrification — profit booster or white elephant? | Arthur D. Little

A comparison chart illustrating the charging demand between electric trucks and electric passenger vehicles from 2025 to 2030. The chart includes electric truck fleet forecasts and total electric charging demand split by AC and DC, alongside passenger xEV fleet forecasts.
Source: Truck electrification — profit booster or white elephant? | Arthur D. Little
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