RENO, NV / ACCESSWIRE / October 16, 2023 / The trucking industry has long been a major contributor to carbon emissions and air pollution, with the vast majority of trucks still running on diesel fuel. According to the EPA, heavy-duty trucks account for only 4% of registered vehicles, yet they emit about 23% of the transportation sector's greenhouse gases.
Although many companies are working on developing electric trucks to address this issue, it is a complex and expensive undertaking. One of the main obstacles is the limited range and charging time of electric trucks. While current technology allows heavy-duty electric trucks to travel around 125 miles before needing a recharge, diesel trucks can refuel in just 20 minutes and cover much greater distances. This poses a significant challenge for long-haul truck drivers who need to cover an average of 500 miles per day to make a living. The need for frequent stops and longer charging times results in unproductive downtime, impacting the efficiency and profitability of trucking operations.
Another key consideration is the infrastructure needed to support the widespread adoption of electric trucks. While companies like NXU Energy are working to solve infrastructure problems, there isn't a full solution yet. Unlike diesel trucks that can refuel simultaneously at multiple fueling stations, charging stations for heavy-duty electric trucks would require significantly more time to recharge each vehicle. A typical truck stop with 10 diesel refueling stations could only charge around 240 heavy-duty electric trucks per day using direct-current fast chargers. Considering the limited availability of charging infrastructure and the business and regulatory constraints placed on truck drivers, ensuring sufficient charging capabilities for large-scale electrification of the industry is a complex task.
While progress is being made in developing electric truck technology, it is evident that the timeline for widespread adoption and the implementation of the necessary infrastructure is still several years away. However, Dragonfly Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:DFLI) is developing a solution that could help electrify heavy-duty vehicles in the meantime while infrastructure catches up.
Nevada-based Dragonfly Energy is a leading manufacturer of deep-cycle lithium-ion batteries that is helping to develop a strong battery supply chain in the U.S. The company designs and assembles its batteries in the United States and is driving research and development initiatives for its non-toxic deep-cycle Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. Their batteries are replacing lead-acid batteries across a wide range of markets, including RVs, marine vessels, residential off-grid and backup storage and industrial applications. The company has also been successful in patenting a wide range of its technology. Thus far, Dragonfly Energy has over 85 patents filed and pending based on battery pack design, cell manufacturing, battery communication technology, and more.
Dragonfly Energy offers a solution to the challenges of electrifying trucks without directly electrifying the engine. They propose transitioning the power supply for the truck's sleeper cabin, known as "Hotel Power," to lithium batteries. This innovative technology called the Electric APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), provides significant benefits and eliminates the need for drivers to idle their vehicles solely for power.
By replacing traditional power sources with lithium batteries, Dragonfly Energy's Electric APU enables truck drivers to conveniently access power for their essential needs, such as air conditioning, refrigeration and other cabin appliances. This eliminates the unnecessary idling of the truck engine, which not only saves fuel costs but also reduces emissions and environmental impact. The Electric APU offers efficient and reliable power, improving the sustainability initiatives of trucking fleets and aligning with the industry's focus on reducing carbon emissions.
This solution not only helps provide a much-needed sustainable boost, but it can play a crucial role in reducing emissions from the trucking industry while technology and infrastructure make electrifying long-haul truck engines a more scalable solution. While electrifying long-haul trucks is still a massive undertaking, adopting alternative power sources for sleeper cabins is a feasible step toward a more sustainable future.
Sioban Hickie, ICR, Inc.
SOURCE: Dragonfly Energy
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