With fuel prices entering an era of ever-increasing prices, which began even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, operators are facing ever-increasing bills for their diesel trucks. That is why there are more and more alternatives to electrify road transport. But the question is is it worth it? Something that we can analyze thanks to the details of a company that has launched an electric version of a 7.5-ton truck of which we know its technical details, and its prices.
It’s about the German company Baxwhich has been analyzing the market and has seen an opportunity in the conversion of diesel trucks into electric ones, in order to offer an alternative for the distribution of regional logistics.
As usual, in this case the manufacturer only offers the chassis, with the body configuration being the buyer’s choice. Something that allows the vehicle to be adapted to different types of use and customers. The Bax 7.5 is available with two different wheelbases between 3,465 and 4,475mm, and with a maximum payload of 4,285kg.
They use the Isuzu N truck as a platform, to which they have added an electric propulsion system of 100 kW (136 hp) and a huge torque of 6,580 Nm, which allows it to climb slopes of up to 20% even at full load. Some maintenance free motors Except for the oil cooling system, which should be changed every five years according to the manufacturer.
As usual, the truck will be able to count on the regenerative braking that will help slow down the truck, recharge the battery with that energy, and reduce the use of mechanical brakes. You can even get to work with a single pedal thanks to the power of braking.
The customer will be able to select between two wheelbase and battery sizes. The little girl will have 84 useful kWh and will allow you to travel about 130 real kilometers with each charge. For its part, the version with ample autonomy mounts 126 kWhalso useful, that give it an autonomy of about 218km. In this case the manufacturer has not offered WLTP homologation data but rather their tests with loaded trucks and that show that consumption in real conditions is placed around the 60 kWh at 100 km.
For loading, the truck will be able to access a takes up to 22 kW in alternatingwhich in the case of the small battery version allow you to go from 20 to 80% in 2 hours. You can also opt for fast charging, which can reach 100 kW and in just 30 minutes allow you to recover 80% of the charge.
For its part, the Long Range version needs 3.3 hours to reach 80% with the 22 kW intake, while with a DC system of 100 kW will take 45 minutes also to go from 20% to 80%.
Among the equipment we can find elements such as a lane keeping assistant, emergency braking system and an optional turn assist. It also has connectivity that, in addition to allow remote updates or maintenancemakes it easier for logistics companies to plan routes and thus save time and money by always having vehicle data at a glance.
This model is already being tested by clients such as the german logistics DHLand has homologation in Germany where it is already on sale where it is available with a price from €160,000 for the small battery version, up to 189,900 of the most expensive.
Electric truck, is it worth it?
Without a doubt, with these data, the logistics companies are the ones that have to do the math since they have a lot of data that we do not have. For example, the cost of diesel trucks, which are usually around half or less than these electric ones as a general rule.
But there is also the operating cost. And it is that, as we have seen, doing 100 km with this model has a cost, taking into account residential rates in Spain, of about 10 euros. A tremendously variable price since factors such as having photovoltaic panels at the base that offset the cost of the trucks can come into play. But of course, those panels also have to be installed and paid for.
Faced with this alternative, a diesel model that travels about 300 km per day could have these fuel costs, without taking into account maintenance and elements such as brake pads and discs, which also represent a recurring expense both in their replacement and in time. that the truck must be stopped for each operation. And time is also money.
With an estimated average consumption of about 12 liters every 100 km. It can be a little more if the load is heavy, but it can also be a little less in the case of light logistics such as parcels.
If we take into account a cost of 1.7 euros per liter of diesel with taxes and without the temporary government bonus, this would give us that every 100 km a diesel van would have an expense of about 20 euros. Therefore, it would be at least twice the price per km than the electric one.
- Iveco Daily: Purchase price: 65,000 euros
- Consumption per 100 km: 12 liters (20.4 euros to 1.7 euros per liter)
- Monthly consumption (300km/day/20 days per month): 1,224 euros
- Cost after 5 years (360,000km): 73,440 euros
- Bax: Purchase price: between 160,000 and 189,900 euros
- Consumption every 100 km: 60 kWh (10.8 euros at 18 cents per kWh)
- Monthly consumption: (300 km/day/20 days per month): 600 euros
- Cost after 5 years (360,000 km): 36,000 euros.
This means that without taking into account maintenance costs, the electric truck will offer savings of around 37,440 euros after five years of operation. That of course without taking into account factors such as being able to have a photovoltaic installation on the roof or on the company’s land. An investment that seems increasingly important in the short term due to the costs of electricity, but even more so in the future with the electrification of transport.
In order to compensate for the difference between electric and diesel the operator would need to travel between 500,000 and 600,000 kilometersat which time the battery should be at around 70% of its original capacity and where the customer can decide whether to extend the life of the truck with this battery, with a more limited autonomy, or replace it with a higher capacity one and predictably lower price for the time of having to face this decision, which according to these calculations would be in about 8 or 10 years.
The conclusion is that the high prices of trucks are the main impediment to its implementation. Of course, it is something that sounds familiar to us since the electric car sector has experienced it, but little by little it has seen performance increase and prices become more and more competitive. Something that should be replicated in the transport sector which, in order to be competitive in the short term, inevitably needs public aid.
Aid that in Germany allows professionals to access discounts of between 12,000 and 40,000 euros for models between 7.5 and 12 tons. Some figures that serve to alleviate a little the initial cost and lower the amortization figures of the investment but that in Spain this year have not been launched for some reason that we do not know.
An economic issue mass production should help mitigate, but that also faces another challenge that also sounds familiar to us. The cargo network. An even more important element for an industrial application, which will limit trips to short and programmed routes, as long as a broader and more capillary network is not extended throughout the different territories.
Also add that either companies bet on electrification, or they will run the risk of falling behind competitively compared to those that do, and that will be able to take advantage of the lower operating cost to offer more competitive rates. Something that will harm those who join later, and that will also have an impact on the cost of goods that are moved with fossil fuels that threaten to continue escalating far beyond current levels as China awakens from its confinements.