Germany to subsidise electric trucks

Dr Lorenzo Grande, IDTechEx

The Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI) has submitted a subsidy policy for environmentally friendly trucks, which has been published in the Federal Gazette at the beginning of June.
Both battery-powered and fuel cell-powered electric vehicles are eligible, as long as they are intended for goods transport. In addition, their gross vehicle weight must be at least 7.5 tonnes.
The subsidies amount to € 12,000 (approx. AUD 19,000) for e-trucks up to 12 tonnes and € 40,000 for e-trucks over 12 tonnes. Grants are limited to € 500,000 per company. In 2018, € 10 million will be available within the program. Initial applications can be submitted in July.
Trucks on the road are often 10+ years old, which means that most of those we see on the road do not yet comply with the newest emissions regulations. Even environmentally aware countries, like Germany, still have a negligible proportion of electric trucks and vans on its roads, while other places, like Italy, have a sizeable proportion of delivery vans powered by natural gas, which is less pollutant than diesel, but still a source of GHG.
Technology consulting company IDTechEx has recently published a new market report on electric trucks and vans titled “Electric Trucks and Delivery Vans 2018-2028”, which outlines all the main innovations being carried out in this space, as well as push and pull factors like growing diesel bans and lowering total cost of ownership for electric commercial vehicles. In an upcoming free webinar, senior analyst Dr Lorenzo Grande will give an overview on the opportunities and challenges related to the goods transportation industry, and how stakeholders can contribute to fleet electrification.

Buses to go electric, trucks to follow

Nearly half of the city buses on the road worldwide will be electric within seven years, with China expected to dominate the global market as it aims to cut urban pollution and support domestic manufacturers.
The total number of electric buses in service is forecast to more than triple, from 386,000 last year to about 1.2 million in 2025, equal to about 47 percent of the worldwide city bus fleet, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“China will lead this market, due to strong domestic support and aggressive city-level targets,” wrote Aleksandra O’Donovan, an analyst for BNEF and author of the study. By 2025, the report said, the country will account for 99 per cent of the world’s battery-powered buses.
Electric buses remain more expensive up front than those fuelled by diesel or compressed natural gas, but BNEF found that battery-powered buses can already offer a lower total cost of ownership when fuel and maintenance expenses are considered. Projected declines in battery prices will make the upfront costs of some electric models competitive with a diesel version by 2026, according to the study.
Watch the Bloomberg video.
Public buses are a key part of the urban transit infrastructure, and the fact that they serve routine, fixed routes makes them ideal for electrification. Cities across the globe increasingly see electric buses as a way to reduce local air pollution, and such municipalities as Paris and Amsterdam have set goals to switch to zero-emission buses in the coming years. Earlier this week, mayors of some of California’s largest cities, including Los Angeles and San Jose, urged the state’s environmental regulator to introduce incentives and requirements to spur a shift toward electric buses from ones that use diesel or natural gas
China has set the most aggressive clean-energy bus-deployment targets. Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co., China’s largest seller of electric vehicles, is well-positioned to take advantage of this government push. Last year in China, BYD sold 128,000 new-energy vehicles (a category that incudes full electric and hybrids), up from 100,183 in 2016, and the company’s buses now operate in 200 cities around the globe.
In the meantime, truck makers are coming out with larger and larger models in electric versions, with travelling distances on one charge exceeding 200km in most cases.

Electric truck development gathers pace

Balqon Corporation, an emerging developer and manufacturer of zero emissions heavy-duty electric vehicles, has announced the release of its lithium-ion battery powered heavy-duty electric truck designed for short-haul applications.
Balqon’s new product, the Mule M150, is designed as a zero-emissions vehicle for short-haul on-highway routes in inner cities, port facilities and airports for the distribution of goods and cargo. The Mule M150 is equipped with Balqon’s fully integrated heavy-duty electric drive system and lithium-ion batteries to provide increased range and performance. Balqon announced that the Mule M150 is able to travel at a speed of up to 88 km/h and has a range of 240 km on a single charge under unloaded conditions.
Balwinder Samra, Balqon Corporation’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Whilst electric delivery trucks with a 7-tonne capacity are new to inner-city delivery applications, we believe they show significant potential in improving performance and environmental pollution. The Mule M150 is a zero emissions heavy-duty truck that we believe is an ideal solution for inner-city applications where trucks idle in congested city traffic. We also believe that the use of our Mule M150 in these applications will result in reduced noise and air pollution.”
Balqon Corporation is a developer of heavy-duty electric trucks, tractors and electric drive systems. The company uses its proprietary flux vector control technology to design propulsion systems for 10 to 50-tonne capacity vehicles and material handling equipment. Balqon Corporation’s current product line of tow tractors is designed to transport containers at ports, marine terminals, rail yards, warehouses, intermodal facilities, military bases and mail facilities.

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