Nikola Motor Company Unveiling - Official Video

Electric Semi-Trucks

With Massive Infrastructure, Are They Ecological?

April 14, 2017, Tapio Mäkelä

Nikola Motor Company has revealed their Semi Truck running on hydrogen and electricity. Tesla will reveal their electric-only version in September. While electric goods transport is easier to realise for short range distances, manufacturers face a challenge of organising recharge or refuel stations on long distance routes. How ecological will electric semi-trucks be, if the infrastructure they require is massive?

Current estimate for transport related emissions amounts to 7 percent of global emissions and 30 percent of all transport related emissions. When other fields of transport become more energy efficient, these figures are expected to rise.

Efforts by companies Tesla Motors and Nikola Motor Company to provide electricity powered road freight (Tesla) and hybrid with hydrogen (Nikola) will bring a cost effective alternative, as they project transport costs to go down compared to diesel powered trucks.

One big hurdle for electric trucking on long distance routes, however, is providing charging stations that match mandatory brakes for drivers. These will require bringing electricity to areas where it may be scarce. Investments for electricity networks or local generation on-site are planned in the US. If the emissions from electricity production and infrastructure investments are combined, are these solutions still ecological? 

Nikola Motors said at their Semi-Truck product launch: “Movers revolutionised our world. It is time we revolutionise theirs”.

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