- AP Moller - Maersk will add 300 electric trucks to its North America warehousing, distribution and transportation business, the ocean carrier announced Thursday.
- The Class 8 8TT Gen 3 trucks manufactured by BYD will hit the road between 2023 and 2025. They'll be operated by technology company Einride.
- The move marks Maersk's "largest heavy-duty electric truck deployment to date," the announcement said. The carrier has a long-term goal of moving to a fully electric trucking fleet in North America.
Despite slower adoption of carbon-neutral vehicles in the trucking industry, Maersk continues its march toward electrification. The EV order follows Maersk's investment in Einride in 2021, part of the carrier’s global framework to accelerate decarbonization in its operations.
The electric trucks are "an important step in building our end-to-end, landside decarbonisation foundation while also addressing customers' inland transportation pain points," said Vincent Clerc, Maersk CEO of Ocean and Logistics.
Maersk's trucks will be operated using Einride’s digital road freight operating system and charging stations, according to the announcement. It will be the first wide-scale use for the operating system, which provides data integration and transparency.
"This is one of the biggest deals ever made to make transportation sustainable, and it comes at a critical time," Robert Falck, Einride founder and CEO, said in the announcement.
The road freight industry is responsible for nearly 8% of all global carbon dioxide emissions, Falck said, noting that the number will only continue to increase without shifts to electric. In the United States, heavy-duty trucks constitute nearly one-quarter of the country's transportation greenhouse gas emissions, making the vehicles a target for new regulation as the federal government looks to accelerate clean transportation.
Carriers often point to cost and range as obstacles to more electric-truck adoption across the industry. Charging infrastructure alone for 150 trucks could cost about $30 million, Thomas Healy, CEO of Hyliion, said during the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo last year.
Even with these challenges, electric truck deployments could increase tenfold in the next decade as companies shift toward zero-emissions vehicles, according to a Calstart study. As demand soars, the number of models has grown 625% since 2019, according to the study.
Other carriers are investing in electrifying their fleets. Schneider is adding 50 Freightliner eCascadias in Southern California, calling it "one of the largest battery-electric truck fleets in North America," the company announced in September.