With the new ELD mandate, truckers are looking for ways to reduce their costs and get there faster. (Well, to be fair, that's always been a thing, but the faster part is more sought-after now.) We're always trying to help you improve your company. We've been offering dispatch services, so we looked for something we weren't already doing and thought we would share our thoughts on next year: 2019 will be the release of electric trucks, and if you can get one, you should.
As someone who dislikes change, I'm always skeptical when a new product comes out. I like to do a lot of research and be prepared for the worst, just in case. Here's what I found:
First, I noticed The Big Guys are ordering these trucks en masse. Pepsi requested 100, Budweiser 40, 125 for UPS, and 20 for FedEx. That's no small order; each truck is priced between $150,000 to $200,000 each. These companies haven't had to pay them all up front yet; Tesla is requiring a deposit of only $20,000.
Nikola and Tesla have provided some great information on their electric trucks. Nikola claims it will have twice the horsepower, up 2,000 ft-lbs of torque, speed up 6% incline will top at 65MPH, takes only 30 seconds to hit 60MPH, and will weigh less, ranging from 18k to 21k lbs. Tesla is similar, with 0-60MPH in 20secs, and 60MPh up a 5% grade.
Now the part you're here for: Nikola claims their trucks will get up to 15 MPG, doubling the MPH of their diesel trucks, meaning you can drive twice as far before having to fill up. Tesla says you'll get up to 500 miles (max weight and highway speed) before needing to fill up, and states you'll save up to $200,000 in fuel. Elon Musk claims you'll earn 80% more per mile. A way it gives you more for your dollar is behind the cab adjusts to the trailer you're carrying, reducing the drag coefficient.
Saving money on fuel is great, but what about the battery? With the knowledge that electric is coming, more gas stations are providing charging stations and so are companies. UPS, for example, will have their loading docks set up so that while the trucks are being loaded or unloaded, they're also charging. It takes up to 30 minutes to charge, which can happen while you're taking your required break. The Tesla chargers are solar-powered, keeping costs low. "Your truck will literally run on the power of the sun."
It seems the electric trucks will save time and money, which not only benefits truckers, but will help with compliance with the ELD mandate. The next concern truckers have: safety. Nikola says it can stop 30ft faster and offers a panoramic view. Tesla offers no gears for a smoother ride and requiring less attention, and four independent motors on each rear tire. The relevancy of the motors is Tesla claims it has ended the jackknife. To quote Elon Musk, "Jackknifing is impossible."
Tesla's trucks offer Enhanced Autopilot. This helps apply emergency break if it senses you're too close to another car, and if you have a medical emergency, it will help you slow the truck down and apply the emergency lights. If you do not respond that it is not an emergency, it will contact emergency services and direct them to your location.
Telsa offers a low center of gravity, reducing the chance of roll over and helping to keep the driver safe in the event of a collision. Tesla further has enhanced their windshield. On average, the windshield of trucks crack once a year, and you cannot drive in that condition. Tesla promises their windshields will not crack, "even in a nuclear blast, or your money back."
Bonuses: The electric trucks offer far more room inside the cab. Elon Musk has personally guaranteed that the truck will never break down. Each of Tesla's trucks come with a 1 million mile guarantee. He further claims you'll never have to change your break pads, as breaking uses the motors and converts energy to the battery to help charge it instead of apply all that on break pads. There is an app to track your truck(s) so you know when/if it needs maintenance and how it/they are performing. Also, we're told an approved ELD is in the truck already.
To boil it all down, when you consider all the factors such as insurance and registration, etc, the average diesel truck costs $1.51/mile. Tesla claims their trucks are $1.26/mile, worst case scenario. In a convoy, they claim the cost lowers to $0.89 a mile.
Cheap? No. Worth it? Undoubtedly. The future is here, and it's time to get on board.
Will you be driving an electric soon? Let us know in the comments below!