Electric 18-Wheelers Are Dumber Than Regular Electric Cars

Source: Blackmon

Electric cars are the way of the future! Or, so electric car manufacturers – and the government – would have you believe. The move to electric cars is understandably motivated by concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, but the attempt to transition into green energy has led to some missteps. 

A Recent Transition to Electric

The transition into electric cars is a fairly recent occurrence, in terms of the car market. The first commercially viable electric car first became available in the 2010’s, though the price point for that first model made it a tough sell for many consumers. 

Source: Wikimedia/Luca Gamberini

This is a problem that has continued to today, though there’s now multiple companies that are making electric cars, and doing the research and development to make them faster, more efficient, and cheaper for both consumers and developers. 

Desire for Electric Slowly Increasing

Desire for electric cars is slowly ramping up, in part pushed by the Biden administration. The administration, in 2023, announced an ambitious goal to have 50% of all new car sales be electric by the year 2030. This would go a long way to mitigate new greenhouse gas emissions, an issue that has become paramount for the administration. 

Source: Wikimedia/Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)

Unfortunately, this is a goal that is quite far off. Despite the fact that there is a demand for electric cars – and that demand is growing every year – in 2023 the total percentage of new car sales that were electric was still less than 10% of the market. 

Lack of Infrastructure

One of the major issues that is facing manufacturers of electric cars as well as consumers is the lack of infrastructure surrounding electric vehicles. Electric vehicles, by nature, require ports with which to charge the battery when it runs low, which happens at varying frequencies depending on the size of the battery. 

Source: Wikimedia/Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)

Unfortunately, the infrastructure for charging ports is not there. Tesla is leading the country as far as infrastructure for electric vehicles go, but they’re still primarily located in major cities. Making electric vehicles a viable option for all Americans would mean extending that infrastructure to rural areas, which would require a significant investment both on the part of the government and private businesses. 

Investments into Green Energy

Along with cost, this is primarily what is stunting the growth of the electric car market. The Biden administration has attempted to help along this issue with their investments into green energy – including electric car technology – but the wheel is turning fairly slowly when it comes to progress. 

Source: Wikimedia/Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)

In spite of this, many companies are looking for ways that they can cut their carbon footprint and claim the tax benefits that come along with it. One of the big ways that big companies, especially those that require massive product trucks and delivery trucks, can do that is by looking into electric cars. 

Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks

This has led to the development of electric 18-wheelers. The enormous cars that are used by companies to transport freight are usually exclusively diesel run, but new developments in electric cars has led to the first freight trucks with an electric battery under the hood. 

Source: Wikimedia/Foxcorner

Now, on paper this sounds like a good thing. Diesel fuel is some of the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, and releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide and other emissions into the air, all of which contribute significantly to global warming. The electric freight trucks would be able to go longer distances without refueling, theoretically, all without releasing the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. 

A Complicated Issue

When digging a little deeper into the issue, though, it becomes a little more complicated. And, quite frankly, impractical in the current market. 

Source: Wikimedia/Chris Light

First, and most importantly, the introduction of electric heavy-weight trucks onto the streets would require a significant increase in the nationwide power grid generation. Statistics say that a 40% increase would be necessary, just for the heavy duty trucks alone. 

Increasing American Power Production

This number doesn’t take into account the energy that’s going to be necessary to fuel other green energy pushes, including low emissions heating, passenger vehicle charging, population growth, server farms, and even artificial intelligence. 

Source: Wikimedia/Calistemon

The last task might be the most hefty lift of all. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, recently stated that artificial intelligence alone will require the doubling of American power generation to sustain. 

Expanding the Power Grid

The details of expanding the power grid are tricky, when considering this massive feat. For instance, converting the heavy-duty truck fleet into exclusively electric would require the United States to source a volume of lithium that equates to 35 years of current global production, just for the batteries alone. 

Source: Wikimedia/Mostafameraji

Expanding the grid and sourcing the minerals necessary to make the enormous batteries for the cars would also require massive resources of other important minerals, such as copper, cobalt, graphite, antimony, and other rare earth minerals that are not currently in wide production in the United States. 

Costs of Electric Trucks

The cost of the cars themselves must also be considered, as well as the environmental impact of making all these changes to the power grid and mining in the first place. Currently, a brand-new diesel-powered freight truck is priced between $150,000 and $180,000, which is expensive, but a still manageable price for companies seeking to expand their distribution. 

Source: Wikimedia/Steve Jurvetson

Data shows that a new electric model of the same type of truck is nearly triple the price, going for an asking price between $400,000 and $500,000. The higher prices of these trucks, as well as the power and transportation costs, would inevitably lead to the issue of higher inflation since most consumer goods are transported by these trucks. 

Electric Trucks are Heavy

These trucks are also heavy, which wouldn’t seem like a factor that needed consideration, but it does. Freight trucks that have an internal combustion engine currently weight a little more than 18,000 pounds, where new battery electric trucks average about 32,000. 

Source: Wikimedia/Kerim Burak

Nearly doubling the weight of the trucks brings into consideration another important cost factor. Roads, bridges, and other infrastructure like guardrails are heavily impacted by the weight of cars driving on them, and adding significant weight to the roads would have the result of them breaking down and deteriorating, much faster than they currently do. 

Taxpayer Burdens Exacerbated by Global Warming

These are taxpayer burdens that are already being piled on by various weather phenomena, such as hurricanes and massive blizzards. The increase in extreme weather events has put a significant strain on American infrastructure in a way that governments are still trying to navigate, and adding heavier freight trucks into the mix will only make that issue worse. 

Source: Wikimedia/Masahiko OHKUBO

There’s also the aforementioned issue of charging ports. Adding the necessary infrastructure to be able to charge the entire American fleet of freight trucks would cost millions, if not billions of dollars, which would need to be absorbed in taxes issued to the American public. In an economy that’s already feeling the squeeze of high inflation and increasing costs, an additional tax burden wouldn’t be welcome. 

The Industry Moving Too Quickly

The implementation of electric freight trucks feels very much like a toddler trying to walk, before they’ve properly learned to crawl. While there’s certainly demand for further expansion of electric vehicle technology, jumping from private passenger cars to the freight industry feels like a big ask, too quickly. 

Source: Wikimedia/dronepicr

The Biden administration and other leftist politicians seem to be trying to appease their voters in a way that’s not currently feasible. Adding a significant amount to the national debt in the name of green energy expansion will only add a further burden to future generations, who are already looking to absorb a far greater cost in their tax burden than any of the generations that have come before. 

Further Research Needed

Electric freight trucks are only in the beginning stages of development, meaning that it’s possible – and also likely – that many of the issues outlined above will be mitigated with further research and development. Batteries become lighter and more efficient with time, charging stations can be built, costs will come down. 

Source: Wikimedia/Kruzat

The question of how quickly these issues need to be addressed is one of the big problems to be solved. While it seems that electric vehicle producers like Tesla and other major car companies are attempting to address these problems, faster would be better, and the clock is ticking on both our tax burden and on the planet. 

What do you think?

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Canada’s Niagara Region Declares State of Emergency Ahead of April 8 Total Solar Eclipse

Now, Your Doctor Will Ask About Your Gun