A recent Work Truck pulse survey reveals the current selection of electric trucks is still lacking in terms of meeting fleet needs.  -  Photo:  Pexels/Kindel Media

A recent Work Truck pulse survey reveals the current selection of electric trucks is still lacking in terms of meeting fleet needs.

Photo: Pexels/Kindel Media

No matter which side of the fence you’re on, the answers to our latest survey probably won’t come as a surprise: fleet managers still feel there are too many unknowns when it comes to EV trucks to make them a viable selection. Work Truck collected a total of 149 fleet professional responses (143 completed and 6 partially completed surveys) from January 7 to 23, 2022. All respondents manage a fleet that includes light- and/or medium-duty trucks or vans, and currently operate at least one EV truck, van, or piece of equipment.

The top three respondents identified themselves as corporate/executive management (including owner/operator), operations management, and maintenance/shop management. The top three lines of business include federal, state, or local government; construction (mining, logging, concrete, paving, or excavating); and services (HVAC, pest control, landscape, or towing).

Those who responded have the following fleet breakdowns:

  • Class 1 or 2 – 80%
  • Class 3 – 69%
  • Class 4 – 53%
  • Class 5 – 51%
  • Class 6 – 57%
  • Class 7 – 47%
  • Class 8 – 58%

Most had fleets with 2-50 vehicles (40%), 101-1,000 (24%), and 51-100 or 1,001-3,000 (both 15%).

Some EVs mentioned by name were Daimler, BrightDrop, and Ford Transit vans; E-PTO aerial units; and the Ford F-150 XL Hybrid.

When asked if they felt there are currently enough EV truck options available to vocational fleets, only 11% said yes, while 62% said no. Another 27% stated they didn’t know or simply weren’t sure.

In addition to this, a whopping 71% of those who answered said they didn’t think EV trucks, as they are now, will be capable of accomplishing the same amount of work as traditional vehicles. Only 15% think they are sufficient the way they are now, and 14% said it’s too early to tell.

The biggest hurdles fleet managers face in including EV trucks in their vocational fleets included some of the following:

  1. Acquisition costs
  2. Range/battery limitations
  3. Infrastructure availability
  4. Availability of suitable vehicles
  5. Weather challenges

Another intriguing answer was “how using an EV will affect hauling haz-mat cargo.”

Some concerns brought up related to how charging will occur if there’s a blackout and how the grid will handle an influx in EV truck purchases. One respondent stated they were more interested in hybrids than full-blown electric trucks. Others are waiting to see how other fleets make use of them and are open to using them down the road, but don’t want to be “Guinea pigs.”

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