Tuesday, October 14, 2014

T Boone Pickens Is Wrong Electric Vehicles Can Haul Cargo

Plugin Cars has an article on electric trucks and electric boats - T. Boone Pickens Is Wrong: Electric Vehicles Can Haul Cargo.
T. Boone Pickens supports electric vehicles—as long you dont claim that electric propulsion can work for big-rig trucks, locomotives or cargo ships. The business magnate and corporate raider, who made his fortune in the oil and gas industries, stated that "the battery will not move an 18-wheeler" and that internal combustion engines using natural gas or diesel are the only way to haul cargo. Is he right?

While there are a number of companies, like Smith Electric Vehicles or EVI USA, building medium duty all electric trucks, Class 8 18-wheel trucks are much bigger. Class 8 trucks have 80,000 pounds of hauling capacity versus the 20,000-pound capacity of smaller trucks. Yet, there are several companies experimenting with electric Class 8 trucks.

For the most part, these trucks are for around-town use rather than long hauls. The clearest use-case for an all-electric Class 8 truck is hauling containers between a shipping facility, like the Port of Los Angeles, and rail terminals. Thousands of diesel powered Class 8 trucks operate daily in that corridor, and are a major contributor to local air pollution.

In the Electric Drayage Demonstration—a project begun in 2012, and extending to 2015—Class 8 trucks from four companies are in daily use in test fleets operating between the Port of LA and nearby rail terminals. Three of the models are all-electric trucks, built by Balqon, US Hybrid and TransPower. These have battery pack ranging up to a huge 380 kilowatt-hours; high powered charging units up to 160 kilowatts; recharge time as low as 1 hour; and a driving range up to 150 miles.

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