Things are changing and developing fast in the EV world and we know that electric trucks are coming. Pickup Truck + SUV Talk Publisher Tim Esterdahl and John Voelcker, an automotive journalist and EV guru, discuss the impact these changes will have on the future of trucks in today’s video.
Before we get into the video, you should know Voelcker edited Green Car Reports for nine years, publishing more than 12,000 articles on hybrids, electric cars and other low- and zero-emission vehicles and the energy ecosystem around them. His work has appeared in print, online and radio outlets that include Wired, Popular Science, Tech Review, IEEE Spectrum and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” So, we weren’t kidding when we used the word guru.
Electric trucks coming soon?
Change takes times. Catalytic converters are a good example of transitions taking time. The first car to have a catalytic converter came out in 1975. It was 25 years before every car being made had one.
At first, it seemed it would be a long time before EV cars would be a feasible and affordable choice for the everyday driver. Batteries were so expensive to manufacture. But, battery costs have fallen so much in 10 years — more than anyone thought they would. In the next few years we are expecting to see lots of electric crossovers and compact SUVs, then three-row SUVs and pickup trucks come next.
What is wells to wheels?
This basically boils down to the amount of energy you have to use over the vehicle’s lifetime. And that is broken into three segments:
- What it takes to make the fuel/energy the car consumes – we’ve reduced carbon emissions by switching from coal to natural gas power plants and renewable energy.
- Manufacturing the vehicles – yes, the carbon burden of making an EV vehicle is higher than making a gas engine vehicle. This brings us to No. 3.
- The savings over its lifetime adds up. Even tho you start at a slight disadvantage, the car overcomes its carbon burden by 40-50k miles and gets cleaner from there.
Will gas and diesel trucks be banned?
The headlines of major news articles make it sound like someone may come and take your current gas or diesel truck. But that is not what a ban on carbon-emitting vehicles is. What we expect to see in the next 30 years is a ban on the manufacture and sale of any new carbon-emitting vehicles. This will likely happen first in places like California, parts of Europe and China where pollution is a real issue.
The rise of the EV vehicle is driven by regulation. And now, well to wheels, EV vehicles have a smaller carbon footprint than gas vehicles. This may not have been true 10 years ago when the first Nissan Leaf was introduced and had just 72 miles of range, and most of our power grid was fueled by coal. But with the transition to cleaner energy production thanks to natural gas and renewable energy like solar farms, everything is changing!