Electrifying America’s Fleet
One of the less talked about obstacles for having trucks across the nation become fully electric is the strain on the power grid. Here in TopMark Funding’s home state of California, emergency declarations were put in place during a heatwave, asking citizens to not charge their electric cars because of the strain. This begs the question: how much energy would it take to have every truck in America run on electricity?
Our model will have some assumptions:
- We are looking solely at Class 8 trucks, cars will stay gas-powered.
- There are 2.9 million tractor trailers.
- Trucks average 5.5 miles per gallon of diesel fuel. Some may be higher, some may be lower.
- The industry uses 128 million gallons per day, which averages out to 704 million miles per day.
- One gallon of diesel fuel equals 40.7 kilowatt hours.
Based on the current rate of fuel consumption within the United States, the national power grid would need to add 5,209,600,000 kilowatt-hours each and every day to keep America’s goods shipping. When you consider that the United States estimated a use of 3.93 trillion kilowatt hours in 2021, a rate of 10.8 billion kilowatt-hours a day, the power grid would need to increase by over 48%.
Currently such a data model is not feasible. The rate Americans consume electricity increases with every passing year, but an increase of 48% immediately is too much for the power grid to handle.
One way that the power grid could become better at handling the additional load is for trucks to become more efficient. The Tesla Semi advertises itself as taking less than 2 kilowatt-hours to drive a mile, which would take only 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours to fuel the daily miles, a large number but a major difference from the initial estimate of over 5 billion.
Lawmakers who want to electrify America’s fleets will have to approach from many different angles to get the job done: not only increasing power grid capacity, but also taking less efficient trucks off the road. Add in charging times and the network of charging stations that would be needed to power all of the trucks, and it will be some time before electricity overtakes diesel as king of the road.
ABOUT TOPMARK FUNDING
TopMark Funding is a top-rated semi-truck financing and trailer financing company located in Roseville, CA. We specialize in commercial trucking and heavy equipment. Our mission is to become your long-term financial partner by helping you grow your trucking business and fleet.
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