Today's Trucking
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Nikola wants to disrupt your truck payments by including fuel costs

April 17, 2019 by John Smith

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – There’s water, water everywhere, but little of it is being transformed into fuel. Nikola Motor wants to change that – as well as the way fleets pay for trucks and their fuel.

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My Money’s on Hydrogen: After decades of talk, the fuel choice is close

August 13, 2018 Rolf Lockwood

Plug-in electric trucks are all the rage these days, mostly medium-duty machines, but there’s even a functional prototype logging truck that’s not only electric but fully autonomous as well. Swedish tech start-up Einride recently unveiled its T-log truck that incorporates […]

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Alternative Financing: Will your lender buy in to alternative fuel?

February 2, 2018 by John Smith

MONTREAL, QC — Trucks that run on alternative fuels promise to be easier on the environment, but the equipment itself can be tougher on a capital budget. Consider natural gas. It’s historically cheaper than diesel, but the trucks that use it can cost an extra $50,000 to $100,000 over the price of their conventionally fueled counterparts, depending on the spec’s.

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Nikola to manufacture in Arizona

January 30, 2018 by John Smith

PHOENIX, AZ – Nikola Motor announced today that it will build hydrogen-electric semi trucks at a new 1-million-square-foot facility on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, in nearby Buckeye. The announcement represents more than US $1 billion in capital investment […]

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Context: Understanding electric trucks

January 16, 2018 by Jim Park

Electric trucks seem to be all the rage today, just as natural gas was to be the industry’s salvation just a few years back. There’s not much excitement in natural gas today, though it remains a viable alternative fuel. Electric trucks, on the other hand, are just beginning their climb to prominence. Interest in electric trucks peaked in November with the world’s first look at Tesla’s Electric Semi. Whether Tesla can carry the torch for battery-powered heavy trucks remains to be seen, but Elon Musk isn’t only player in the market.
Transpower’s electric Class 8 tractor uses a conventional drivetrain, but with a 400-horsepower electric motor. It has a range of up to 160 kilometers at full load.
I drove a fully electric plug-in Transpower USA Class 8 tractor back in 2015. That truck had been in field tests at the port of Long Beach, California, for two years prior to that. The company made headlines recently announcing a partnership with Meritor that will make its technology commercially available in the spring of this year.

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Wabco invests $10 million in Nikola

December 20, 2017 by John Smith

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – Wabco Holdings is investing $10 million into Nikola Motor Company – a business in Salt Lake City, Utah that plans to produce hydrogen-electric trucks.

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Path to electrification not straight to linehaul: Mack

December 4, 2017 by John Smith

OAKLAND, CA – Mack Trucks continues to see a healthy future for diesel engines, even as alternatives like electrification begin to emerge.
“Diesel today, it’s performing extremely well. It’s cleaner than it’s ever been, it’s robust, it’s versatile,” said Roy Horton, director – product strategy, during a briefing in Oakland, California. As for talk about electric trucks? “It’s almost a little bit of an uphill battle there.”
Electrification is “on the bubble, and it’s something everyone is looking at,” he said, admitting that the recent unveiling of Elon Musk’s Tesla Semi attracted attention. “It’s definitely going to be part of our future.” Just not for longhaul. Not right away.
Mack believes the earliest adopters of electrification will be operations with the chance to charge at a home base and not depend on general infrastructure for fuel. That includes refuse, local delivery, and public transportation fleets.

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Electric Dreams: Are engineers dreaming of electric sheep?

October 17, 2017 John G. Smith

Elon Musk’s dream of an electric semi has yet to become a reality. A rollout that was first expected to take place in September has been pushed back to November, while Tesla looks to address production delays with its Model 3 cars.

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Bosch envisions digital, electric future

September 27, 2017 by John Smith

ATLANTA, GA – Imagine trucks without mirrors or internal combustion engines, relying instead on video monitors and electric power. It’s exactly what Bosch engineers are helping to develop.

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Diesel Dilemma: Are the days of our favorite fuel numbered?

December 2, 2016 John G. Smith

Rudolf Diesel must be rolling in his grave. The 19th-century inventor gave birth to the engine that bears his name. Now the country where he did the work is looking to bring the technology to an end. German legislators recently passed a resolution that calls for a ban of all internal combustion engines as early as 2030.