How’s this for a meme about electric trucks? Save the planet, but don’t get a lot done.
Like it? OK, admittedly it needs work. But it’s true.
Because a test featuring an electric 2022 Rivian R1T towing a trailer versus a gasoline-powered 2022 Toyota Tundra also towing a trailer showed the electric truck would rather hang out at the charging station while the gas truck is on the road.
The gas truck had 2.8 times the range of the electric truck, according to TheFastLaneTruck.com.
The electric Rivian pulled a 2,000-pound trailer 153 miles, using 91 percent of its battery charge. Extrapolating to a full charge, TFL Truck estimated the actual range was 168 miles.
The gas Tundra, on the other hand, drove the same route with the trailer and used only a third of its fuel. Extrapolating the remaining gasoline in the tank at the initially-used 14.8 miles per gallon showed the Tundra with a range of 473 miles.
So, in order to travel the same distance as the Tundra, the Rivian would have had to make three stops for charging.
Charging would, of course, take a long time, even without waiting for other vehicles to charge. And given how charging stations are situated, more time would be needed to unhitch the trailer so the truck could access the charger.
Save the planet, but don’t get a lot done.
In that test, the F150’s computer said it should have had a range similar to the Rivian’s — 160 miles. Instead, the electric Ford limped to a charging station after only about 85 miles. The GMC traveled 156 miles and it’s computer said it had 129 miles remaining.
In the Rivian-Tundra test, the Rivian R1T was mostly driven at 70 mph, although some city driving resulted in a 56 mph average. The heater was on at a modest temperature.
The Rivian’s efficiency was 1.25 miles per kilowatt hour, TFL Truck said. Since the EPA lists a gallon of gas as equivalent to 33.7 kWh, the Rivian averaged, in effect, 42 miles per gallon.
Since the Tundra used 10.348 gallons of gasoline, its EPA conversion rate was 348.7 kWh to travel the same 153 miles as the Rivian.
Despite the overwhelming energy efficiency of the electric truck, its practical application due to its limited range remains a problem.
Electric trucks have a place — low mileage applications in, perhaps, smog-prone urban areas.
But their use in long-haul inter-city transport remains limited by the realities of technology and economics.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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