The following article addresses the problematic of electrification of heavy duty vehicles. The content was prepared by electro company, providing services for energy generation from renewable energy sources (Elektro Ljubljana RES, Ltd) and supported by BSC, Ltd, Kranj (RDA of Gorenjska), for the preparation of the training material for public authorities, in the scope of e-SMART project. The challenge is much more demanding, than for electrification of passenger cars and at the moment we are still way from the ideal solutions.
To really turn electric vehicles into green alternative comparing to ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, we need to get green electric energy. So far, EU strategy is based on wind and solar and there is hydro energy available from the past investments. Problem of these sources is that they do not follow the needs of modern society. This was very obvious in the 2021. RES simply don’t generate enough power, when needed.
When we have low rivers flow, in winter time with cloudy weather without sun for one week and stable air pressure with no wind, we need to store energy for such cases. On 20 charging posts on transit location with only 10 sessions per day (40% time of use) each session in 1 MWh range, for 7 days storage capacity needed is far over 1 GWh. Cost for such storage at today’s prices is 100-300 million EUR.
Alternatives will be needed with no doubt.
Important parameter in e-HDV is the rage. There is almost no difference in ICE driven vehicles and same vehicles can be used either of long range or short with no modification. For e-HDVs, difference between long or short range is the size and even more important weight of the batteries. For longer range, we need to invest more in the batteries and we are losing payload on the way due to batteries. If being satisfied with shorter range, we are loosing money on additional stops for charging. In both cases, transporter loses on competitiveness and transportation gets more expensive. And it is not a question in today’s world, how much more we are ready to pay but how much more can we afford to pay?