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The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) Launches Guidance Report on Battery Electric Vehicles

RMI’s latest report shows commercial battery electric vehicles set to revolutionize freight transport

Latest research shows that innovation and technological advances in commercial electric trucks are producing technologies and practices that could affect decisive, revolutionary, and potentially disruptive opportunities across the transportation industry.

Fort Wayne, Indiana – October 10, 2018  Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) today released its second guidance report on electric trucks, Guidance Report: Medium-Duty Electric Trucks: Cost of Ownership, an unbiased report to help fleet owners understand the multiple factors to consider in selecting medium-duty commercial battery electric vehicles (CBEVs), including the cost/benefit factors to consider when estimating return on investment.

For the report, NACFE identified 20 cost-factors concerning modern fleets, and developed a Total Cost of Ownership Calculator to compare diesel and gasoline truck investments against comparable battery electric trucks.

“The electrification of freight trucks is just starting, but it has the potential to revolutionize the industry just as the dieselization of locomotive engines revolutionized freight transport in the 1940s and 1950s” says Mike Roeth, NACFE Executive Director and Operation Lead of RMI’s Trucking Efficiency program. Electric trucks present a new world of potential business opportunities and are no longer speculation. Fleets choosing electric trucks today will get on the learning curve ahead of those that wait.

The report details the following key findings about the implementation and applications of medium-duty electric trucks:

  • CBEVs have many unknowns because there is little long-term field history. The unknowns are not stopping fleets from buying CBEVs and getting first-hand operational data.
  • Daily, return-to-base urban cycles below 100 miles are well suited for battery electric drivetrains
  • The primary justification of CBEVs is to meet zero emissions objectives

There remain a lot of unknowns with medium-duty electric trucks, but electric vehicles and their components are really nothing new” says Don Francis, Clean Cities Georgia. “The trucks will be simpler and easier to operate and maintain. The newcomers are pushing the technology development edge, and the established industry giants are bringing their capabilities to mature the products. This is going to be game changing.”

NACFE is planning to release a Guidance Report that will address charging infrastructure for CBEVs, as well as another covering heavy-duty Class 7–8 electric vehicles. NACFE hopes that that, due to fleet managers, manufacturers and others using its Guidance Reports in the months and years leading to launch, the first generation of production technologies will perform much better and offer higher return on investments.

The report can be downloaded here:


Media Inquiries please contact:

Nick Steel, Senior Media Associate at Rocky Mountain Institute, T: +1 347-574-0887, E:


Notes to Editors

About the North American Council for Freight Efficiency

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to doubling the freight efficiency of North American goods movement. NACFE operates as a nonprofit in order to provide an independent, unbiased research organization for the transformation of the transportation industry. Data is critical, and NACFE is proving to help the industry with real-world information that fleets can use to take action. In 2014, NACFE collaborated with Carbon War Room, founded by Sir Richard Branson and now a part of Rocky Mountain Institute, to deliver tools and reports to improve trucking efficiency.  Learn more at 


About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI [i1] has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst