Battery of issues surrounds large-vehicle electrification

Electrification has made major inroads in light trucks and compact off-highway machines, but its adoption in long-distance trucking and many large off-highway vehicles remains more promise than market-ready. Still, there is plenty of interest in replacing diesel and gasoline power units with battery power. A flurry of activity in recent months highlights the high level of interest in heavy-duty electric trucks, though these actions also spotlight the lingering engineering challenges in electrifying larger vehicles…

Battery-electric drives are rapidly replacing combustion engines and even hybrid diesel-electric drivetrains in delivery trucks and mobile machines such as aerial work platforms and forklifts. For equipment that can be recharged overnight, plug-in options are making strong inroads. For larger vehicles and those that cannot be charged on regular cycles, engineers still are trying to find the right balance that will meet user demands. Factors such as torque and battery weight pose major challenges.