How Fleet Electrification is next in EV Evolution

MHDV Use Cases

MHDVs differ from today’s LDVs in several important dimensions (Figure 1). Heavy-duty vehicles are expected to last for 1 million kilometers or more, about three times longer than LDVs. MHDVs consume much greater amounts of power than LDVs: MHDVs consume from 300Wh/km to 2000Wh/km, while LDV energy usage is typically under 250Wh/km. The larger power consumption per kilometer combined with the longer daily driving distances for MHDVs requires larger battery packs. In some cases, that can be mitigated somewhat by employing opportunity charging, as we’ll review. LDVs typically have a battery pack under 100kWh, while current MHDV battery packs can be 660kWh. Future MHDV designs anticipate battery packs of 1MWh.

  • Delivery trucks, refuse collection trucks, and similar services need depot charging because routes vary from day-to-day
  • Logistics trucks, depending on routing and travel distance, can use depot charging, strategically placed charging stations along highways, or embedded highway charging for traveling on fixed point-to-point routes, such as back and forth from an airport or port to a warehouse district.

Charging Options for MHDVs

A growing number of MHDV charging systems are compatible with standard J1772-CCS Type 1 plug-in charging connections, and industry-standard SAE J3105 pantograph systems. Although plug-in chargers are found almost universally in depot charging scenarios, pantograph charging can be found in depot charging and in opportunity charging, primarily for buses during stops.

Software and Sensors

The electrification of MHDVs will result in both software-defined vehicles and software-defined vehicle fleets. In both cases, large quantities of data are required. Today’s vehicles have between 60 and 100 onboard sensors, and the data is almost exclusively analyzed on board the vehicle itself. Next-generation electric vehicles, including MHDVs, are expected to include double that number of sensors as vehicles become increasingly smart and connected using a combination of cloud computing and onboard computing to optimize vehicle performance.

Artificial Intelligence and Fleets of MHDVs

A significant difference between MHDVs and conventional electric vehicles is that most MHDVs will be used by fleet operators instead of individual owners. That central control over fleets of vehicles will provide increased operational optimization incentives using advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.

Conclusion

Growing fleets of buses, delivery trucks, logistics trucks, and other MHDVs will present new for technological advancement opportunities. These new fleets will require a complex mix of charging technologies, including conventional plug-in chargers in addition to wireless chargers at fixed locations, and wireless charging built into some highways for continuous charging while the vehicle is in motion.

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