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July 11, 2023 - By:

Electric truck

Is an electric truck cheaper than a diesel one yet? It’s all about maintenance

The new transport reality that European companies are striving for is zero-emission freight transport. One solution is to replace diesel heavy haulers with electric trucks. But experts are faced with the fact that this environmentally friendly solution is not at all cheap.

First, troubleshooting.

Technicians say that sometimes diagnosing diesel truck problems is a bit of a puzzle. In the case of an electric truck, this puzzle gets more complicated. It is necessary to analyze the wiring diagrams, systems and sensors. In addition, in diagnostic workshops, working with an electric truck will require additional rules – the mechanic must disconnect the battery, protect the truck on a special site, hang special signs and follow all safety rules so that no one gets hurt during the repair of the truck. Accordingly, it takes more time and services become more expensive.

Secondly, the human factor.

Another nuance that needs to be taken into account is the norms of driving and resting the driver. If the driver decides to charge the truck during his working hours, then his work stops and the overall productivity decreases, which of course affects the company’s profit. If the company decides not to count the charging time as working, this will cause dissatisfaction and reduce the motivation of the trucker.

Third, maintenance.

In-line maintenance of a truck is currently more expensive than a diesel one. Experts suggest that over time they will be approximately the same, but maintenance of an electric truck will most likely not become cheaper.

Which electric truck systems will require special spending?

First of all – high voltage wires.

Such wires and related parts require special close attention. Their serviceability needs to be monitored every 60 thousand kilometers of the truck. To do this, they use special devices, in which case either you need to drive the truck for diagnostics, or the trucker must undergo special instruction in order to do the initial diagnostics on his own and understand if the insulating layer of the wires is weakened. You can’t ignore this, if such a layer is damaged, the truck will simply go into emergency mode and will not be able to work. Such an incident in the middle of the track is not the most fun adventure.

Next – traction batteries.

Batteries are usually covered by a warranty of up to 3 years, but problems can begin after it expires. In the event that the battery fails – in many cases it is impossible to replace individual parts, it must be replaced as a whole. The truck owner will most likely be compensated upon returning the old battery. Therefore, a new battery can cost a little less.

It is also important to remember about cooling systems. Fluids in at least three cooling systems are subject to mandatory replacement every 180 thousand kilometers. These cooling systems are found in the battery, transmission, resistors that provide braking for the trailer or semi-trailer. In addition, very powerful chargers must also have their own cooling systems responsible for maintaining the desired temperature of the cable.

Naturally, we must remember to change the oil.

The oil needs to be changed in the engine, gearbox, and also in the bridge. In the engine, the oil must be replaced every 120 thousand kilometers.

Manufacturers of electric trucks, advertising their new models of heavy trucks, focus on environmental friendliness, mileage without charging, carrying capacity, cab comfort for a trucker, etc. It is possible that such an important feature as the cost of further maintenance will also be taken into account in the future. After all, this factor affects the choice of a particular truck by the carrier company.

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