Electric vehicles – the road to future mobility

Today the automotive industry has taken a leaf out of the book of the early pioneers of electric vehicles dating back to the late 19th century when they were being used for short distance urban requirements. However, the discovery of fossil fuels and improved road infrastructure put a hold on the further development of these vehicles.

So nearly a century later, the wheel has now turned a full circle and the world has embraced the concept of electric vehicles, with all the major vehicle manufacturers going all out to speed up the development and marketing of their respective brands covering the full spectrum of their product range. Currently costs in producing electric vehicles are much higher than equivalent conventional types but with higher demands one sees an inevitable tipping point that will bring parity to those costs. General optimism however is that global sales of electric vehicles will grow by as much as 50% in the forthcoming two to three years.

Development has generally been with the focus on passenger orientated vehicles where the potential for higher mass production volumes exists but the swing to commercial transportation is not far behind. Major truck manufacturers have already launched commercial vehicles ranging from the pickup and delivery van to the on-highway multi-wheeled long distance hauler.

In September 2020 Daimler Trucks presented its technology strategy for the electrification of its vehicles, ranging from urban distribution to international long-haul transport. This announcement affirmed its commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Convention and placing it firmly on the road to global leadership in this sector.

Iveco, in partnership with Nikola Motor Company, has unveiled its first heavy-duty electric truck built for the European market.

The MAN eTGM is already making a contribution to sustainable mobility of tomorrow and already meets the essential demands of urban delivery. Added to this is the introduction of their well-known urban bus range which now operates under electric power.

Volvo Trucks, from 2021 onwards, will be selling a complete range of battery powered electric trucks in Europe, designated for distribution, refuse removal, regional transport and construction. Capacities will cater for requirements across the board up to 44 tonnes gross combination mass. 

DAF Trucks is already into its third generation of fully electric trucks with the CF Electric model which is an ideal high-payload urban distribution vehicle. With zero emission and low noise, the CF Electric meets most environmental regulations and business needs.

The future of trucking continues to be challenging. As long as there are goods to move the industry will continue to extend itself into a greener industrial revolution and beyond.  

Pierre Sanson 



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