Low Cost Charging, Incentives Critical to Electric Trucking Transition

Press Release
February 24, 2020
Contact: Alec Gerlach, GerlachA@c2es.org, 703-516-0621


 Low Cost Charging, Incentives Critical to Electric Trucking Transition

Companies Need Clear Cost Analysis to Accelerate Adoption

WASHINGTON—The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), along with Atlas Public Policy, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and David Gardiner and Associates (DGA) unveiled findings today on barriers and opportunities for electric vehicle applications in trucking. The organizations collectively formed a strategic partnership to explore the landscape and outlook for electrified trucking options for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, publishing a fleet procurement analysis tool for companies and two reports identifying financial barriers and insights for retailers and trucking companies.

The assessment of financial barriers for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EV) found:

  • Cost competitiveness can be achieved in the current market when supported by low cost charging and vehicle incentives;
  • While most EV procurement scenarios were not likely to be cost competitive with diesel options today, low cost charging, in this case offered by charging infrastructure that is owned and operated by the fleet, and vehicle incentives substantially improve EV cost competitiveness; and
  • Depot charging was critical to EV cost competitiveness as a result of lower charging costs than the public charging options modeled, avoidance of productivity losses by charging during regular downtime, and providing control over the number and type of charging stations.

Since medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles are relatively new to markets, the analysis also provides independent evaluation of upfront and operational costs and a fleet procurement analysis tool to help retailers and logistics companies better assess the opportunities of decarbonizing freight movement.

Read Assessing Financial Barriers to Adoption of Electric Trucks 

Companies will now have access to a free, publicly available tool developed by Atlas Public Policy to better inform business decisions. It provides ‘plug-and-play’ usability for an easy total cost of ownership analysis of how electric truck adoption – from local delivery to cross-country freight – affects a business’s bottom line. The tool takes into account upfront and operational costs to offer realistic expectations and planning resources to help companies answer key questions in making electrification cost competitive.

View the Fleet Procurement Analysis Tool here

A separate brief from C2ES offers an assessment of the state of play for electrified trucks as retailers and logistics companies explore options to reduce emissions from shipping and freight delivery. C2ES interviewed companies that have started to test electric trucks within their existing businesses to test the technology benefits, barriers, and costs that come with deploying electric vehicles. These pilots allowed companies to evaluate whether to shift operations and maintenance programs in the future to adjust to a transition from diesel to electric. While companies pointed to a need for charging infrastructure and incentives as an industry-wide challenge, they also recognized the long term environmental and health benefits of EVs.

Read Insights on Electric Trucks for Retailers and Trucking Companies

“Retailers spend an enormous amount of time and resources optimizing their supply chain infrastructure to best serve their customers and protect the environment. Increasingly, that includes evaluating and investing in innovations like electric vehicles,” said RILA Vice President of Supply Chain Jess Dankert. “The Fleet Procurement Analysis Tool helps make a key factor in that decision-making process – cost – more accessible and offers companies a holistic view of what that investment could mean for both their bottom line and their long-term climate commitments.”

“These reports outline a clear roadmap to make electric trucks cost effective”, said David Gardiner, President of David Gardiner and Associates. “To get more electric trucks on the road, we need to lower the costs of the trucks and make charging stations convenient and inexpensive.”

“We’ll have to substantially decarbonize the transportation sector to meet midcentury climate goals. Before that can happen, we need to show how electric truck shipping can be more cost competitive, and companies choosing to make that transition will need to go into it with clear eyes on how logistics may change and how to adjust their budgets,” said C2ES president Bob Perciasepe.

“Electric trucks offer a tremendous opportunity to advance climate goals and pave the way for a zero emission transportation system. Our analysis shows that widespread electric trucking deployment is close at hand so long as government support continues in the near term, fleets employ a thoughtful charging strategy, and manufacturers can continue to drive down vehicle costs.” said Nick Nigro, Founder of Atlas Public Policy.


About Retail Industry Leaders Association: RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad. Learn more at www.rila.org.

About Atlas Public Policy: Atlas Public Policy’s mission is to equip businesses and policymakers to make strategic, informed decisions through the greater use of technology that aggregates publicly available information. Atlas arms our audience with the information necessary to encourage the use of new technologies and products along with changes in consumer behavior. Learn more at www.atlaspolicy.com.

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

About David Gardiner and Associates: David Gardiner and Associates is a strategic advisory firm focused on climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and an expanded and modernized electric grid. We work with businesses, associations, institutions, and others to accelerate climate and clean energy solutions and policy. Learn more at www.dgardiner.com.