Zero-Emission Trucks - IDTechEx Explores Electric and Fuel Cell Trucks

A truck-shaped lake in the midst of pristine nature, illustrating the concept of clean, greenhouse-free transport in the form of electric, hybrid or hydrogen propulsion. 3d rendering.
Fresh city air and guilt-free online shopping could be two benefits of electric and fuel cell trucks. With the growth of environmental awareness and the hydrogen economy, zero- and low-emission trucks could see larger-scale adoption over the next decade.
Environmental care
Online shopping won't have to be such a large contributor to emissions because electric and fuel cell trucks won't negatively impact the environment with deliveries. With the growth of retail industries and online shopping platforms, more transportation is required for these industries to flourish, meaning zero-emission trucks couldn't come at a better time. Hand in hand with the CO2 emission legislation becoming stricter, cleaner air is becoming a central focus of many companies from an environmental and business competitiveness perspective.
Cities and built-up areas could be protected from excess fumes from fuel as the air becomes cleaner, and a large contributing factor to poor air quality is removed. Large trucks currently consume anywhere between 30 and 40 litres of fuel per 100km, with cars sitting approximately between 4 and 7, with trucks also racking up a much greater annual mileage. Electric and fuel cell trucks could be a window to turning these figures on their head, and over the past few years, battery electric trucks have moved from prototypes to commercial models. In their report on the topic, "Electric and Fuel Cell Trucks 2024-2044: Markets, Technologies, and Forecasts", IDTechEx predicts that by 2044 82% of zero-emission trucks sold will be battery electric out of approximately 1.8 million zero-emission trucks sold per year.
Hydrogen economy
The flourishing of the hydrogen economy will make way for more fuel cell trucks to get onto the road. Due to the cost, lack of infrastructure, and struggle to produce hydrogen for trucks alone, processes of making hydrogen for cleaner, widespread energy sources will greatly benefit the fuel cell industry.
The benefits of fuel cells are perfect for long haul journeys and in colder weather, where battery performance might suffer. Hydrogen has a greater energy density per kilo in comparison to batteries, and it is quicker to refill a tank than to charge up a large battery, so lowering costs could be a long-term goal for hydrogen companies. Battery electric trucks are currently much more common but can be restricted to short-haul journeys due to the weight of large batteries, limited range, and reduced performance in cold weather.
The electric and fuel cell trucks sector is expected to reach US$207 billion by 2044 and are both part of the solution to achieving a zero-emission transport sector. Government support is available for the first companies to make moves towards this. Subsidies for the purchasing of trucks could incentivize companies to make investments in these future transport methods, and the future of truck driving and retail industries could see their reputations reinvented.
For more information, please see the IDTechEx reports "Electric and Fuel Cell Trucks 2024-2044: Markets, Technologies, and Forecasts" and "Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2024-2044: Markets, Technologies, and Forecasts". Downloadable sample pages are available for these reports.
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