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Moving Towards Zero Emissions

In the past couple of weeks, news has broken of two new possible types of environmentally friendly semi-truck models. Tesla and Toyota both unveiled plans, just days apart, for zero emission long-haul trucks.

Elon Musk unveiled earlier this month that Tesla will announce its plans in September of this year for an electric-powered semi-truck. Musk tweeted:

"Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level."

Little other details were disclosed, allowing the speculation and questioning to begin. An automotive analyst at Gartner, Inc. told Trucks.com,  "The question to me is when you’re talking about an electric truck like that, what kind of infrastructure would Tesla be signing up for alongside that?" It is not known if Tesla will expand their current consumer electric charging stations to accommodate large trucks or if new stations will be created across the country.

Just a few days after Tesla's unveiling, Toyota announced a prototype truck which would be powered entirely by hydrogen fuel cells. Nicknamed, "Project Portal," Electrek reports the Toyota model generates, "more than 670 horsepower and 1325 pound-feet of torque”, which results in a gross combined weight capacity of 80,000 lbs." The vehicle is powered by two fuel cell stacks (similar to Toyota's Mirai sedan) and a 12kWh battery. Toyota Motor North America followed the announcement with the start of a new feasibility study, focusing on the practicality of long haul semi-trucks being powered by zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells.

Industry analysts estimate, that by 2020, only 1% of all trucks on the road will be electric. This percentage is expected to increase to 10% by the year 2030. Companies will soon be tasked with deciding if they should leave diesel engines for more environmentally friendly and technologically advanced vehicles. Please reach out and contact us if you have any questions or are curious about learning more.


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