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Great first step in truck electrification: Terminal Tractors!

image credit: Copyright by NACFE in 2022
David Schaller's picture
Industry Engagement Director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE)

Electric/hybrid MD & HD commercial trucks are just entering the marketplace. With over 3 decades of experience introducing new technologies to the trucking industry, it is a pleasure to be...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Mar 22, 2022

NACFE has published a report on the three battery electric terminal tractors that participated in the late 2021 demonstration of truck EVs. Terminal tractors are a specialized heavy-duty class 8 truck that rapidly moves both full and empty trailers around the yard at distribution centers, warehouses and ports.

Diesel powered terminal tractors spend their lives operating at very low speeds inside the fences of distribution centers and warehouses. They also spend a lot of time sitting still and idling. These conditions lead to exhaust aftertreatment systems getting plugged. Transitioning over to battery electric terminal tractors eliminates the exhaust system completely.

Get NACFE's report at no charge via this link: Electric Trucks Have Arrived: The Use Case For Terminal Tractors - North American Council for Freight Efficiency (

Rick Engebretson's picture
Rick Engebretson on Mar 23, 2022

This is a great step, for other uses as well.

It is well known in agriculture history that farm tractors were a step ahead horses. Horses spent a lot of time idling and polluting, requiring a lot of "aftertreatment," too. For many modern farm uses, field tractors are of little use for more routine tasks that compare well with your parking lot trucks.

Also, sustainable forest management has little room for monster diesel tractors creating new parking lots.

I hope the hardware you are developing is transferable to agriculture and forestry, too.

David Schaller's picture
David Schaller on Mar 24, 2022

Rick, Look at the news out of John Deere: VIDEO | John Deere shows autonomous electric tractor - Future Farming. Battery electric autonomous tractors are being developed for that market as well.

Interesting that you mention forestry, because we have been invited to speak at a forestry event in the near future.

David Schaller's picture
Thank David for the Post!
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