In 1996 General Motors made the GM EV1 available for sale (or at least for lease). It was one of, if not the first, fully electric vehicle on the market. Initially, it had a range of 40 miles. And the auto-buying public wondered, “What’s the point?”
Oakridge Global Energy Solutions in Florida recently announced that it will be supplying batteries to Freedom Trucking in Minnesota for a fully electric drivetrain which it says is capable of providing tractor-trailers with a 400-mile plus range.
I am not comparing Freedom Trucking’s electrically powered tractor to the EV1 to make fun of it but to highlight the progress. The EV1 weighed 2970 lbs. The Freedom Trucking tractor will pull 80,000 lbs. of truck and cargo and it will do so for a range of 400 miles, as noted previously.
This is real cool progress. I don’t think presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has the answer when he states that he wants to get trucks off the roads. But I also don’t think it’s arguable that we need to continue to advance in terms of efficiencies and in terms of environmental impact.
The CCJ article states that this electric vehicle will save $0.60/mile over traditional diesel-powered trucks. What it doesn’t say, is how reliable these vehicles are or will be. Current diesel engines can operate for more than a million miles. I cannot help but wonder, however, if any per-mile cost savings will be negated by higher purchase prices and shorter lifespans.
But even if my cost-savings questions are accurate this is still a huge step forward; a “game-changer.” It will be interesting to watch how the technology advances in the coming years.
Thanks for reading.