ILMA Compoundings - March 2020 - 27
truck could sit there and charge. This
would a very expensive undertaking,
and since they would need to have
some ROI, they would be charging the
trucking company to charge up."
"Overall, we feel that EVs are
coming, and they will provide some
benefits like less exhaust and noise,
but they probably won't be used very
extensively in the Class 8 trucking
industry," Hillard added.
Preparing for the Future
"I have to believe the
temperatures and pressures
will be different, so they
will need to develop
different lubricants, but it
isn't like it goes away."
Mike Roeth, executive director,
North American Council of Freight
"We have an over-the-road division
where the trucks do sit overnight while
the driver is on their 10-hour break,
but the infrastructure is not in place
to charge them," Hillard said. "Truck
stops would need to add chargers
to a number of their parking spaces
at each truck stop they own, so the
There is help for fleets looking to
transition to EVs. Peterson said
ChargePoint works with fleets to
create both short- and long-term
plans. The company starts by looking
at fleets' use cases, the makeup of
the current fleet and the fleets' goals.
"Then we try to align that with the
vehicles available today," he said,
adding that there aren't a lot of options
available currently. "We are in the
early market, but we expect more and
more vehicles to be introduced
at greater volumes in the next one
to two years."
There are some pockets where vehicles
are generally available, one of which
is the yard tractor. "The duty cycle is
conducive to electric," Peterson said.
When working with fleets, ChargePoint starts by examining workflow
and use cases, such as when vehicles
return to base, where they are going,
and when they get loaded. "With
Class 8, we look at what happens with
the vehicle when they are at the depot,
how they get assigned, the predictability in that and the operations details,"
Peterson said. "EVs have to align with
the services of that fleet."
ChargePoint then digs into utility
rates, existing infrastructure capacity
and fleets' long-term infrastructure
goals. "We look at what you can do
today and how you can grow your
fleet," Peterson said. "If you know
arrival and departure times, you can
develop a plan to minimize the elec-
trical pull for charging those vehicles.
In a lot of cases, that means reducing
Reaping the Benefits
Roeth said there are several apparent
benefits to EVs, such as replacing the
price of diesel with a smaller cost for
electricity and less maintenance.
Fenton said Volvo is partnering with
a couple of community colleges to
create EV repair and service technician
As maintenance needs change,
lubricant needs in EVs will change.
"You're not going to use your standard
differential oil in an electric drive
motor," Legler said.
However, there are still a lot of
moving parts in an electric truck that
require lubrication. "I have to believe
the temperatures and pressures will be
different, so they will need to develop
different lubricants, but it isn't like it
goes away," Roeth said.
On the lubrication side, everything
from tires to wiring has to be examined
in the context of the EV and the currents
involved in the application, Legler said.
"There are very high levels of current that
are not dissimilar to the kind of current
you're looking at in industrial power
application or power substation."
New maintenance requirements will
result in new diagnostic equipment,
personal protective equipment and
technician qualifications that are all
unique to the level of current the
technicians will be addressing. "It is
a whole different level of complexity.
It isn't anything the technicians can't
master, but it is different," Legler said.
For law enforcement and emergency
responders, there will have to be
different response protocols, Legler
said. "How do you make an electric
vehicle safe? What needs to be done in
towing? We're looking at all of that."
Long is a freelance writer and journalist.
She can be reached at 925-750-7163 or
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