Is Now the Time to Consider Introducing Electric Trucks into Your Fleet?

  • Created:

    March 29, 2022

  • Updated:

    August 10, 2022

fleet of yellow electric trucks charging
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Is it time to replace or grow your fleet? Are fuel costs becoming an increasing part of your costs? Is your vehicle dealer telling you they cannot get you new internal combustion engine (ICE) trucks for at least six months? Or are some customers starting to ask you to demonstrate more sustainability credentials? If so, you should keep reading.

Fleet electrification: The carrot and the stick

If you stay the course with ICE, you may struggle to meet new government regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and even face penalties that further add to your costs. Many governments, including Canada and the United States, are using both the carrot and the stick to encourage companies to decarbonize their fleets. At the recent United Nations COP26 climate summit, Canada joined 14 other countries and vehicle manufacturers in signing a memorandum of understanding that aims for 100%of new medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus fleets to be zero emission by 2040.

To incentivize transporters and companies to make the switch, various levels of government operate grant, incentive, and tax break programs. Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP), for instance, aims to bolster the country’s charging network infrastructure through cost-sharing contribution agreements.

More recently, Transport Canada announced the deployment of $547.5 million of funding to support the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV). The funding takes the form of a rebate of up to $200,000 with the purchase of a zero emission MHDV. As it is stackable with already significant provincial incentives, this new federal program makes EVs even more profitable, in even more use cases. Given their financial viability and the incentives available, it’s never been a better time to make the switch to EVs.

The upside of EVs

As the world ramps up its fight against climate change, it’s becoming increasingly clear we will need to electrify fleets that are eligible for the transition. With EV technology advancing by leaps and bounds and more and more manufacturers producing EVs, the costs are coming down, and the options with payload that does the job are increasing. And when you look at the total cost of ownership, EVs win hands down in light of the lower maintenance costs, which 7Gen takes care of entirely for British Columbia fleets; the skyrocketing price of fuel; the federal and provincial incentives that are now available; and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in place in British Columbia that will be implemented nationally next year.

Plus, as a result of ongoing supply chain disruptions, medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks currently have very long lead times—in some cases longer than those of EVs. If you opt to go electric, you might even get your fleet on the road faster than if you were to upgrade to new ICE trucks.

The age of electric trucks

There’s a lot more than just Teslas and Nissan Leafs on the market. Manufacturers are making a wide range of electric trucks for just about every purpose. Here’s a quick look at some of your options.

●      Electric last-mile delivery vans and trucks (classes 1 to 3): These vehicles are ideal for the final leg of the supply chain: getting goods into the hands of consumers or to retail stores, distribution centres, and warehouses. They can navigate narrow city streets and park in tight spots yet still carry substantial loads. They’re ideally suited to going electric because they can deliver all day on a single charge and recharge their batteries overnight.

●       Electric medium-duty vehicles (classes 4 to 6): An increasing number of medium-duty vehicles are also coming on the market with multiple configurations, from shuttle buses to box trucks to utility trucks, as well as last-mile delivery vehicles in class 5 or 6. Many can travel between 200 and 250 kilometres on a single charge, making them ideal for local and regional use.

●       Electric heavy-duty vehicles (classes 7 and 8): Electric big rigs are coming down the pipeline with GVWRs of up to 82,000 pounds and the ability to travel 400 kilometres on a single charge. They can be parked while a driver breaks for lunch and recharge up to 80% of their battery capacity in 90 minutes.

●       Electric refuse and recycling vehicles: Many municipalities are looking to get to net zero and are turning to electric vehicles for their sanitation services. These vehicles travel regular, predictable routes, which is ideal for scheduled charging. Some can service up to 1,200 homes on a single charge. What’s more, electric refuse and recycling vehicles are quiet and don’t create emissions, improving urban quality of life.

●       Electric shuttles and buses: Public transit and private buses are another EV segment that’s rapidly expanding, witha growing number of cities committing to zero-emission transportation. Operating on a single charge, EV shuttles and buses get citizens where they need to go in a clean, quiet, and eco-friendly fashion.

●       Electric pickup trucks: The first EV pickup trucks are now available on the market, with more models on the horizon.

Where to begin?

If you’re like a lot of other fleet operators who are considering switching to EVs, the prospect can be daunting. You might be wondering where to begin, or whether you and your team have enough time and know-how to manage the switch. The easiest way to successfully make the transition is to work with a partner that can expand the capacity of your team and help you navigate all the moving parts, from assessment, planning, and financing to procurement, implementation, and maintenance—and everything in between.

A turnkey solution for electrification

That’s where 7Gen comes in. 7Gen mobilizes the money and know-how to offer a turnkey solution to transition ICE commercial fleets to electric. We provide Electric Vehicles as a Service (EVaaS) by leasing clients vehicles and chargers. This makes electric fleet management easier, faster, and financially viable. By working with strategic partners and not being tied to a single OEM, we can help you invest more confidently and keep your fleet running smoothly as you grow into the future.

Are you ready to make the leap to EV?

Contact 7Gen today to learn more about how you can convert your commercial fleet to electric vehicles.