Heavy Electric Vehicles

Electric Trucks
The other big EV market is for trucks. Particularly heavy trucks which are hard to electrify (heavy loads, long distances, remote locations, enormous batteries, long charging times etc).
  • The buzziest EV startup in this space is Hyliion.
  • Other entrants include battery-powered Tesla Semi, Mercs eActros, Volvo VNR (all WIP), BYD BTT (low key), and hydrogen-fueled Hyundai Xcient (WIP).
  • In comparison, Hyliion's propulsion is driven by an electric drivetrain with batteries charged onboard by an engine running on bio-methane.
  • Though the engine emits CO2, this is offset by the use of bio-methane, which is produced from carbon neutral plant cycles (vs diesel which is a fossil fuel).
  • The other big sell of Hyliion is it can be fitted or retrofitted into existing truck designs, avoiding it having to design a truck from scratch. It also leverages on existing networks of natural gas stations thus not requiring a build-up of charging or hydrogen infra.
  • Not a perfect combustion-less solution but takes the electrification of heavy transport one green step further. [By how much in concrete numbers and in scenarios where production of bio-methane has maxed out, and natural gas needs to be used instead, remain to be seen and not covered by Hyliion in its website.]

The countdown has begun. No further sales of petrol/diesel new cars and buses (sample countries and cities):
  • 2025: Netherlands, Norway
  • 2030: Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden
  • 2030: Auckland, CapeTown, Heidelberg, London, Seattle, Vancouver

  • When sales of new petrol/diesel cars are banned, those still allowed on the road will become premium (to fans of gas guzzlers).
  • Auto repair shops might see both a sunset (EVs require much less servicing) and sunrise (keeping the old jalopies going).
  • Alibaba and Tencent see a business opportunity in this and are enrolling auto repair shops to offer their services via apps.
  • The switch to EVs will see many economic changes and new business opps.