timelapse exposure of traffic at night

Electric Trucks Reach a Tipping Point

New analysis from RMI shows that 65 percent of medium-duty and 49 percent of heavy-duty trucks are electrifiable today.

Boulder, CO and Toronto, ON — May 9, 2022

Trucks of all sizes are ripe for electrification, according to a new report that utilizes observed aggregated and anonymized trucking telematics data from Geotab. In Charting the Course for Early Truck Electrification, climate and energy nonprofit RMI shows that based on duty cycles, 65 percent of medium-duty and 49 percent of heavy-duty trucks are electrifiable today, meaning that the current engines could be replaced by EV technology available by the end of 2022.

Freight trucks in the United States produce an outsized amount of pollution. Although they make up only 10 percent of the vehicles on the road, they produce 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Report co-author and RMI Principal Dave Mullaney said, “The transportation sector is ripe for change and primed to go. The technology is ready, consumers and fleets are willing, and all the efforts RMI has been championing are not only possible, but also achievable on a large scale.”

Charlotte Argue, senior manager, Sustainable Mobility at Geotab, said, “At Geotab we help empower fleet operators to reduce vehicle emissions and operating costs. For many fleets, electrification offers the greatest opportunity to reduce roadside emissions.” Geotab joined the project in an effort to show how many freight trucks could be electrified right now based on their usage patterns. “Many trucks drive much shorter distances than people might expect, which makes them good candidates for early electrification.”

Dozens of battery-electric truck models are available in the United States and Canada alone, and that number is increasing rapidly to meet rising demand. Across the United States, fleets have already committed to deploying over 140,000 electric vehicles. For example, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric vans from Rivian to be delivered gradually over the next eight years. DHL, Frito-Lay, and NFI all have plans to deploy more than 50 electric trucks in the next two years. Depending on when electric trucks are charged, they have the potential to reduce per mile emissions by 60 to 97 percent compared with diesel.

Transportation electrification is critical to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions. Although not all types of trucks can be replaced with electric versions today, many freight trucks travel short enough daily distances that they can be electrified right now. The capabilities of electric trucks are rapidly expanding and more types of trucks will be electrifiable in the near future.

Media Inquiries

Daina Rudusa
Manager – Media Relations, RMI
T: +1 917 622 1865
E: media@rmi.org

Taylor Barker
Sr. Specialist, Corporate Communication, Geotab
T: 1 905 208 5794
E: pr@geotab.com

About RMI

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
More information on RMI can be found at www.rmi.org or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.

About Geotab

Geotab is advancing security, connecting commercial vehicles to the cloud and providing data-driven analytics to help customers better manage their fleets. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offering hundreds of third-party solution options, allows both small and large businesses to automate operations by integrating vehicle data with their other data assets. As an IoT hub, the in-vehicle device provides additional functionality through IOX Add-Ons. Processing billions of data points a day, Geotab leverages data analytics and machine learning to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets through the reduction of fuel consumption, enhance driver safety, and achieve strong compliance to regulatory changes. Geotab’s products are represented and sold worldwide through Authorized Geotab Resellers. To learn more, please visit www.geotab.com and follow us @GEOTAB and on LinkedIn.