Energy consumption and charging load profiles from long-haul truck electrification in the United States

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published

07/2021

Abstract

The urgent need to decarbonize the transportation sector combined with falling battery prices has spurred industry and policy interest in long-haul truck electrification. The charging behavior and resulting loads from electrified long-haul freight trucks are crucial for the smooth operation of the electric grid and have far-reaching environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas and other air pollutant emissions). However, the aggregate energy impact of a fleetwide shift to electrified long-haul freight trucking has not been explored. This study combines electric truck design scenarios, bottom-up truck weight modeling, vehicle energy modeling, large-scale truck traffic data, and simulation of likely operation and charging behaviors to estimate end-use energy consumption and location-explicit hourly charging loads for a national fleet of long-haul electric trucks. Relative to a fleet of future diesel trucks, electrification would reduce direct end-use energy consumption by 0.9×1018 joules (0.9 quadrillion BTU), but electrification might increase life cycle energy consumption depending on the electricity source. The electricity required to charge long-haul electric trucks is equivalent to five percent of annual electricity consumption in the United States (U.S.). The simulated truck charging loads peak during the day across the U.S. grid regions, but the charging peaks' exact timing is sensitive to when trucks are dispatched for operation. The load shapes suggest that electric trucks' charging loads can coincide with peaks in solar power generation, and planning could enable on- or off-site integration between truck charging stations and renewable electricity generation.

Journal

Environmental Research Infrastructure and Sustainability

Year of Publication

2021