True Cost of Electric Truck Conversion: Ryder’s White Paper Analysis

Ryder’s analysis of the true cost of the electric truck with conversion costs for U.S. fleets has uncovered some extreme economic impacts.

True Cost of the Electric Truck: Ryder's New Analysis

Ryder’s latest white paper, “Charged Logistics: The Cost of Electric Truck Conversion for U.S. Commercial Fleets,” provides a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the economic implications of converting commercial trucking fleets from diesel to electric vehicles (EVs). The analysis, driven by Ryder’s historical data and current market conditions, uncovers the costs associated with converting diesel commercial trucks to EVs across different truck classes and geographic regions.

The report unveils the following findings:

  • Comparison Across Truck Classes and States: A one-to-one comparison between the total cost of electric truck conversion for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles in California and Georgia.
  • Fleet-Level Analysis: An estimation of the cost increase for converting a mixed fleet of 25 commercial vehicles in California and Georgia.
  • Economic Impacts: Insights into how electric truck conversion could affect inflation and the trucking industry’s supply chain.

Key Insights

  • Light-Duty EVs (Class 4): Conversion to electric transit vans results in a modest increase in the Total Cost to Transport (TCT), ranging from 3% in California to 5% in Georgia.
  • Medium-Duty EVs (Class 6): The increase in TCT for straight trucks is more significant, reaching up to 28% in Georgia and 22% in California.
  • Heavy-Duty EVs (Class 8): Electric truck conversion for electric tractors doubles operating costs, with TCT increases of up to 114% in Georgia and 94% in California.
  • Mixed Fleet of 25 Vehicles: Converting a mixed fleet of 25 vehicles leads to an increase in annual costs by 56% in California ($3.4 million) and 67% in Georgia ($3.6 million).

Light-Duty Electric Vehicles

The Class 4 comparison assumes short-haul deliveries of 80 miles, averaging 40,000 miles annually. Ryder’s analysis shows a relatively modest cost increase:

  • California: EV transit vans increase TCT by 3% ($4,935 annually), mainly due to a 71% increase in vehicle costs.
  • Georgia: TCT increases by 5% ($7,927 annually), largely due to higher labor costs and more significant differences in fuel costs between diesel and electricity.

Medium-Duty Electric Vehicles

In the Class 6 comparison for medium-haul straight trucks (100-230 miles, 55,000 miles annually), the cost increases are more pronounced:

  • California: TCT increases by 22% ($47,568 annually).
  • Georgia: TCT increases by 28% ($53,414 annually).

Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles

Heavy-duty Class 8 trucks (100-500 miles, 109,000 miles annually) experience the most significant cost increase due to higher vehicle costs and the need for additional vehicles and drivers to match the performance of diesel trucks:

  • California: TCT increases by 94% ($314,598 annually).
  • Georgia: TCT increases by 114% ($331,257 annually).

Mixed Fleet Analysis

Ryder expanded its analysis to a mixed fleet of 25 vehicles representing the national fleet mix:

  • California: TCT increases by 56% ($3.4 million annually).
  • Georgia: TCT increases by 67% ($3.6 million annually).

Inflationary Impact

Ryder’s analysis estimates that the increased costs of electric truck conversion could cumulatively add 0.5% to 1% to overall inflation.

Industry Challenges

  • Infrastructure Development: The current charging infrastructure is insufficient, with only 84 public charging stations for heavy-duty trucks in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy.
  • Battery Technology and Costs: Improvements in battery technology are essential to achieving comparable payloads and ranges to diesel trucks.
  • Supply Chain Impacts: Mandating a rapid transition to EVs could disrupt the supply chain and add inflationary pressure on consumer goods.

Ryder’s Recommendations

The report highlights that mass adoption of EVs isn’t viable for all trucking fleets yet:

  • Collaboration Needed: Ryder calls for collaboration between regulators, manufacturers, and technology innovators to find balanced solutions that encourage EV adoption while protecting businesses and consumers.
  • Alternative Fuels: The report suggests exploring other alternative fuels like natural gas, hydrogen, and hybrids alongside electrification.



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