20 Sep 2022, 13:07
Edgar Meza

More than half of all new trucks will be electric by 2035 - McKinsey

Clean Energy Wire

More than half of all newly registered trucks in Europe, the US and China will be electric by 2035, according to a new study by McKinsey & Company presented at this year’s German car show IAA Transportation in Hanover. The study, "Preparing the World for Zero-Emission Trucks", also forecast that the proportion of battery-electric commercial vehicles and those with fuel cells will rise to more than 85 percent of new registrations by 2040. "The commercial vehicle industry is in the starting blocks when it comes to decarbonising its vehicles," said Bernd Heid, senior partner at McKinsey and co-author of the study. “Industry accounts for 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The path to decarbonization will be shaped by regulation, advances in technology and costs, as well as market dynamics and infrastructure.” The analysis further showed that, by 2030, battery-electric and fuel cell-powered trucks will be more cost-effective than diesel-powered trucks in almost all segments. In certain niche applications, biofuels or synthetic fuels can also play a role in the future, despite their higher costs. “We will see a portfolio of decarbonization solutions in the commercial vehicle industry,” Heid added.

Differences in technology costs, infrastructure availability, different usage profiles and local energy prices are nevertheless expected to affect the purchasing decisions of fleet operators. The study notes that substantial investments in production capacities and infrastructure in Europe, the US and China are needed for the conversion. These include 12 additional battery factories by 2030, each with a capacity of 25 gigawatt hours per year. Investments of 450 billion dollars are required for charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure through 2040. Commercial vehicle manufacturers will already be offering more than 70 zero-emission truck models in Europe and the US by 2024 – primarily for urban and regional delivery traffic. However, these models still only account for 2 percent of the total production volume in 2024. "The conversion will be gradual," Heid noted.

While trucks have been far behind in the global race to decarbonise, stricter government policies have forced the heavy duty freight sector to speed up efforts to become more sustainable.

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