The U.K. just recently announced that they are banning the sale of non-electric vehicles in 2040, following countries like France, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens in the same endeavor. Commercial vehicles use thousands of more gallons of nonrenewable energy than passenger cars. Because there are more than 300 million commercial vehicles on the road today, we might be focusing our efforts on the wrong vehicle.
Why we need to focus on commercial vehicles for electric
According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2012, trucks and buses only account for about 23% of the overall emissions from transportation. Light vehicles contribute over two times that amount, at 59% of all emissions.
Even though there are more light vehicles on the road and they collectively emit more than commercial vehicles, one passenger car emits much less than one commercial vehicle. And this is why the industry sees commercial vehicles as an opportunity to save money and reduce emissions. By making one commercial vehicle electric, you are taking one huge burden off the road, saving more money, and emitting much less than if you took one passenger vehicle off of the road.
The benefits of switching over to electric
As of 2014, cars had the fuel economy of around 36 miles per gallon, and trucks had around 26. This means you end up using around 10 more gallons of non-renewable fuel for each mile when driving a commercial vehicle. So making one truck electric saves 10 more gallons per mile than if you converted one passenger car.
As for monetary savings, the most you will pay for a kWh of energy is $0.27 whereas the lowest you would pay for gas is $2-3 per gallon. This means with each gallon of gas you save over $1.50-2 each time. Trucks use around 20,500 gallons of gas per year compared to 500 gallons of a regular car. That saves you over half of a million a year when switching one truck to electric, compared to only $1,500 for a regular vehicle.
When will countries switch over?**
Many countries are expecting that by 2040 electric vehicles will be the norm. However, countries should start thinking quicker on their feet rather than waiting. Slowly switching over a few cars or trucks at a time is fine. However, asking large companies to adopt this change due to lower costs could make this electric movement much more of a reality in the near future.