Jan 29, 2020

The case for electric trucking

Data: Department of Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

The latest edition of the Energy Department's "transportation fact of the week" series shows that much of the freight moved by truck isn't traveling that far.

Why it matters: As medium and heavy-duty electric trucks enter the market, which is slowly starting to happen, there are many use cases that don't require massive range or far-flung charging networks.

What they're saying: "Electric trucks can meet the need of a lot of freight applications today and will be ready to meet the needs of even more applications as range grows in the coming years," Jason Mathers, the Environmental Defense Fund's director for vehicles and freight strategy, tells me.

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UPS to buy 10,000 electric trucks from U.K. startup Arrival

Arrival's prototype electric UPS van. Photo: courtesy of Arrival

UPS is investing in Arrival, a U.K.-based electric truck manufacturer, and plans to buy at least 10,000 battery-powered delivery trucks worth $440 million over the next five years.

Why it matters: UPS is transforming its global logistics business to keep up with exploding e-commerce and increased urbanization — and the fallout from those trends like worsening congestion and climate change.

Go deeperArrowJan 29, 2020

The great electric pickup production race

GMC Hummer's grille and the Tesla cybertruck. Photos courtesy of General Motors and Tesla

Automakers are competing to make the buzziest, strongest, fastest electric truck that would fare well in a dystopian future — albeit one with a reliable grid and eco-conscious drivers.

Driving the news: OK I'm being flip (it's Friday!), but yesterday brought news that GM is indeed reviving the gas-guzzling Hummer as a fully electric and powerful "super truck" with seriously gaudy specs.

GM is eating Tesla's exhaust

Tesla Model 3. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

While Tesla shares went into Ludicrous Mode this week, GM executives were on Wall Street pitching investors on their own vision of an electric, self-driving future. But as Bloomberg notes, the market isn't buying.

Why it matters: GM may be investing billions to transform its business for the future, but to many investors, Tesla's lead in the fledgling electric vehicle market is seen as insurmountable.