New Analysis Shows Just How Bad Electric Trucks Are For Business


Converting America’s medium- and heavy-duty trucks to electric vehicles (EV) in accordance with goals from the Biden administration would add massive costs to commercial truckingaccording to a new analysis released Wednesday.

The cost to switch over to light-duty EVs like a transit van would equate to a 5% increase in costs per year while switching over medium- and heavy-duty trucks would add up to 114% in costs per year to already struggling businesses, according to a report from transportation and logistics company Ryder Systems. The Biden administration, in an effort to facilitate a transition to EVs, finalized new emission standards in March that would require a huge number of heavy-duty vehicles to be electric or zero-emission by 2032 and has created a plan to roll out charging infrastructure across the country.

“There are specific applications where EV adoption makes sense today, but the use cases are still limited,” Karen Jones, executive vice president at Ryder, said in an accompanying press release. “Yet we’re facing regulations aimed at accelerating broader EV adoption when the technology and infrastructure are still developing. Until the gap in TCT for heavier-duty vehicles is narrowed or closed, we cannot expect many companies to make the transition, and, if required to convert in today’s market, we face more supply chain disruptions, transportation cost increases, and additional inflationary pressure.”

Due to the increase in costs for businesses, the potential inflationary impact on the entire economy per year is between 0.5% and 1%, according to the report. Inflation is already elevated, measuring 3.5% year-over-year in March, far from the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

Increased expense projections differ by state, with class 8 heavy-duty trucks costing 94% more per year in California compared to traditional trucks, due largely to a 501% increase in equipment costs, while cost savings on fuel only amounted to 52%. In Georgia, costs would be 114% higher due to higher equipment costs, labor costs, a smaller payload capacity and more.

The EPA also recently finalized rules mandating that 67% of all light-duty vehicles sold after 2032 be electric or hybrid. Around $1 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act has already been designated to be used by subnational governments in the U.S. to replace some heavy-duty vehicles with EVs, like delivery trucks or school buses.

The Biden administration has also had trouble expanding EV charging infrastructure across the country, despite allotting $7.5 billion for chargers in 2021. Current charging infrastructure frequently has issues operating properly, adding to fears of “range anxiety,” where EV owners worry they will become stranded without a charger.

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