The CEO of Einride claims that electric big rigs are already a viable option for up to 50% of the $4 trillion freight truck market.
The trucking industry, primarily powered by diesel, is responsible for transporting up to 70% of freight in the US and is a significant contributor to air pollution in California, emitting 70% of the state’s smog-forming gases and 80% of carcinogenic diesel pollutants. Einride, a Swedish EV trucking startup, has become a competitor to Tesla’s Semi and has attracted large corporate clients such as PepsiCo, GE Appliances, AB InBev, Bridgestone, Beyond Meat, and Maersk. Einride’s CEO, Robert Falck, believes that 40% to 50% of the $4 trillion freight mobility market could support electric vehicles today, representing a $2 trillion opportunity.
However, the cost equation for EVs in the freight industry is not yet precise, as diesel prices have decreased by 25% since reaching a record high last year. Although Falk estimates that 30%-40% of the market could transition to EVs based on costs today, diesel may appear to be the more financially attractive option in the short term. Despite this, major corporations such as PepsiCo and Maersk are proof that the case for EVs is valid, and Falk emphasizes that investing in sustainability is worth the cost. According to Falk, the EV transition is often less expensive for trucking, regardless of short-term fluctuations in diesel prices, although the cost of electricity is a factor.
Einride does not manufacture its trucks but offers a turnkey solution that includes vehicle and trailer design, infrastructure such as charging, transportation system operations, and a digital freight network solution. Einride’s Class 8 tractor-trailer trucks can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge. The company is expanding into the UK market by supplying two heavy-duty trucks to PepsiCo. Autonomous trucking technology is still in its early stages, with Falck predicting that most trucks will be electric and autonomous in 25 years.
—CNBC’s Kaitlin Balasaygun contributed reporting.