The passenger vehicle market is undoubtedly transitioning towards electric cars, but the electrification of the trucking industry is arguably still in its infancy. With this in mind, US-based energy analysts Wood Mackenzie have recently conducted an analysis of the country’s budding EV truck segment, and their results were equally optimistic and conservative, especially when vehicles like the Tesla Semi are considered.
The number of electric trucks on US roads is still minuscule, with the country only deploying about 2,000 electric trucks in 2019. The research firm stated that the US electric truck industry is poised to receive benefits from recent policy support and financial support and local energy transition goals, and these could drive significant growth in the next few years. The firm expects the electric truck market in the US to grow to over 54,000 units by 2025.
In a press release, Kelly McCoy, Wood Mackenzie Research Analyst and report author noted that this increase in electric trucks could provide notable reductions to transportation emissions. The firm also noted that while there was only about 2,000 electric truck charging stations in the country in 2019, these facilities could rise to as high as 48,000 by 2025.
“Compared to passenger electric vehicle (EV) and electric bus penetration levels, the electric truck market is still in its infancy. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MDV/HDV) are the second largest contributor to US transportation emissions, but much of the emissions reduction efforts thus far have centered on new diesel technologies and hybrids rather than pure electrification,” she said.
While the findings of Wood Mackenzie’s analysis points to an encouraging ramp of electric truck use in the United States, it is difficult to not notice that the firm’s estimates of 54,000 electric trucks by 2025 is still quite conservative. This is especially the case if one considers the ramp of vehicles like the Tesla Semi, which have the potential to cause disruptions in the trucking market. With Tesla pushing the Semi, the number of electric trucks in the country could very well see a ramp that’s far above the research firm’s expectations.
The Tesla Semi was unveiled back in 2017 with an estimated production date of 2019, but this date was pushed back to this year by the electric car maker. Updates on the Semi were relatively few following its unveiling, save for sightings of its two prototypes being road-tested across the United States. However, back in June, a leaked email from Elon Musk revealed that the company is ready for the volume production of the Semi. Later updates from the company pointed to the Semi being produced at Gigafactory Texas, the same site where the Cybertruck will be built.
Considering that the Tesla Semi is poised for volume production, it would be surprising if the company only produces a conservative number of the vehicles until 2025. It would be out of character for Tesla, for example, if the company only produces about 1,000 units of the Semi every week by 2025, considering that the Class 8 long-hauler is a pet project of the company’s Automotive President, Jerome Guillen. While Tesla is yet to confirm if it has indeed started producing the Semi, it seems certain that by 2025, Gigafactory Texas will already be producing the vehicle at scale. And when that happens, Wood Mackenzie’s estimates of 54,000 units (even on a yearly basis) might be proven conservative.