Electric trucks could handle millions of short-haul routes across North America

Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, is confident that the U.S. and Canada can convert more than 5 million medium- and heavy-duty trucks from fossil fuels to electric without disrupting the flow of cargo they carry. And he has the data to back it up.

That data comes from Run on Less-Electric, a just-concluded test conducted by major freight companies across six states and two Canadian provinces. Over three weeks, Run on Less collected data on electric delivery vans, box trucks, port terminal tractors and heavy-duty semitractor-trailers making standard daily deliveries, ranging from taking beer and potato chips to grocery stores to moving cargo containers between seaports and distribution centers.

Roeth has coordinated two previous Run on Less events to collect real-time data on new high-efficiency truck designs, working in partnership with nonprofit research organization RMI and with support from the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck program. (Canary Media is an independent affiliate of RMI.)

But this is the first test that focused on electric trucks — and according to preliminary data and reports from the companies and drivers involved, the trucks are ready for action.