Today, transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the United States. In 2021, the Transportation Sector accounted for 29% of total greenhouse gas emissions, and medium-and heavy-duty trucks account for 23% of the transportation emission.1 One of the primary causes is combustion of gasoline and diesel in car/truck. To solve the climate crisis, we must decarbonize the vehicles on our roads. Electric vehicles are more efficient in converting energy to power trucks, and electricity across the board is cleaner and cheaper as a fuel for vehicles. Running electric trucks have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 67-73%, as revealed in a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)2.

Driven by increasing environmental concerns, local and federal regulations, and a strong focus on fuel efficiency, companies are projected to transition their fleet to electric trucks, marking a significant shift that will revolutionize the logistics industry.

Supported by an ever-expanding infrastructure and complemented by a range of local and federal grants and incentives, Maersk and its customers adopting these solutions are at the forefront of this transformative movement.

If you are a company looking to adopt electric trucking solutions for your supply chain, here are five things to consider as you start your journey:

1. Range and Weight Considerations for Electric Trucks

The Class 8 Electric trucks currently available, have demonstrated ranges on the order of 220 miles (100 miles in each direction) on a single charge. Although not currently designed for pulling overweight or heavyweight cargo, EVs can support cargo weights up to 40,000 lbs. without experiencing significant reduction in range. This weight capacity is noteworthy, considering that a cargo weight of 44,000 lbs. is typically the threshold for not requiring overweight permits. In several states, special considerations are granted to accommodate the additional weight of EV truck assets, allowing for a higher total tare weight compared to diesel vehicles.

2. Availability of Charging Infrastructure

In certain areas, either private infrastructure (that Maersk is building) or public infrastructure (like the Port of Long Beach is building) is sufficient for practical implementation. From Southern California to Chicago and New Jersey, Maersk has joined the international effort in investing in this vital infrastructure with ambitious plans to expand across the U.S. and Canada in the coming months and years. US states like California, New York and Colorado offer financial incentives to encourage the adoption of charging infrastructure. These incentives can include grants, tax credits, and rebates.

3. Electric Trucks Enhance Driver Experience

Electric trucks adhere to the same stringent safety standards as their gas or diesel-powered counterparts, ensuring the utmost road safety. In addition to meeting these essential requirements, electric trucks provide truck drivers with a smoother, quieter, and cleaner ride, enhancing their overall driving experience. To gain further insights into the experiences of our drivers and learn more about the advantages of electric trucks, click here.

4. Innovative Pricing Strategies

Electric vehicles (EVs) have unique pricing considerations compared to traditional fuel-powered drayage. Therefore, Maersk has introduced diverse pricing options to ensure that transporting your cargo with an EV remains cost-effective. By offering competitive rates, we aim to make sustainable transportation accessible and affordable.

5. Search for Grants and Tax Incentives

Opting for electric transportation supports environmentally conscious practices and unlocks opportunities for grants and tax incentives, such as the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States4. Maersk recognizes the value of these incentives and is using them where available to reduce cost to customers and promote sustainable operations. Furthermore, utilizing EV assets in your supply chain provides avenues to mitigate additional expenses local municipalities may impose. For instance, utilizing EV assets in your supply chain provides avenues to achieve company goals and meet state, local and other climate requirements.

My best advice is to start planning today. Also, understand the grants and incentives available to you in your state of operation to help reduce cost. Driving sustainability to reach net-zero emissions by utilizing EV trucks is a tall task. There are many variables to consider such as cost, charging infrastructure, range, and the potential truck manufacturers you will select as your vendors. Developing a plan takes time, resources, and capital to implement EV’s into your day-to-day transportation operations.

Ty Ray
Maersk’s Regional Head of Growth Enablement – First Mile

Incorporating green initiatives in your supply chain often takes the combined effort of your operations, procurement, and sustainability teams. We welcome your questions and interest and have a variety of experts that can guide you.

Sources referenced:

  3. Fast Facts on Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions | US EPA

Ready to drive towards zero-emissions logistics?

On September 13th, we held a webinar that provided valuable insights into the essential capabilities your business requires to achieve sustainable logistics. Our panelists, Dr. Lee Kindberg, Head of Environment and Sustainability North America, and Ty Ray, Intermodal Head of Growth Enablement North America, delved into the current state of sustainability and electric vehicles.

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