Interest in freight electrification has swelled recently as the Environmental Protection Agency takes aim at the medium- and heavy-duty trucks which make up less than five percent of vehicles on the road, but account for about seven percent of overall U.S. emissions. However, many questions remain about the real-world capabilities of electric alternatives. That’s where the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE)’s Run on Less: Electric Depot comes in.
The event, which ran over three weeks in September, put electric trucks to the test hauling real freight on real routes, all while publishing performance data to the public. The event aims to shed light on important considerations for scaling electric freight such as vehicle performance, charging infrastructure, utility engagement, total cost of ownership, driver and technician training, charge management, and more.
In total, ten fleets participated, outfitting 22 battery electric trucks with telematics from GeoTab to track the vehicle’s driving patterns and battery levels over 18 days of operations. The fleets covered a diverse set of electric trucks including:
Overall, the event demonstrated just how far electric trucks have come since the last Run on Less Electric in 2021. . Three Tesla Semis operated by PepsiCo stole the show, averaging over 500 miles each over the three-week period and recording a 1,076 mile day. While the precise payload was not made public, PepsiCo’s Dejan Antunović confirmed that the three Semis were “actively delivering/hauling beverages across Northern & Central California, and Nevada, with gross vehicle weight plus load above 70,000 lbs for more than 65% of our miles ran.”
Further, a LinkedIn post from Dave Mullaney of RMI estimates that the route includes over 7,000 feet of elevation gain and observed temperatures as low as 36 degrees. PepsiCo accomplished the feat using high-powered 750kW charging and multiple stops per day as seen in the vehicle data from the 1,000 mile day:
Battery Charge (%) and Distance (Mi) for PepsiCo’s Tesla Semi’s 1,000 mile Day