Overdrive Magazine

April 2018

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28 | Overdrive | April 2018 A s the electrified trucking market has sprung to life in the past 18 months, it appears almost certain that these alt-fuel Class 8 trucks will begin sharing the road with diesel-powered rigs as early as late 2019. Industry newcomers Tesla, Nikola and Thor position their electric-powered rigs as viable, clean alternatives to diesel trucks, as well as a way to slash mainte- nance and fuel costs. They also have brought fresh designs to the Class 8 tractor, combining aero- dynamic features with aggressive styling befitting their role as workhorses. "We wanted to show people that electric vehicles in the heavy-duty seg- ment can be just as tough and strong as traditional diesel trucks," says Gio Sordoni, co-founder of startup Thor Trucks, which unveiled in late 2017 a battery-powered Class 8 tractor for the short-haul market. Even if these trucks perform as well as their makers expect, it's not clear whether the electrical grid can handle an influx of power-hungry electric trucks, along with other electric vehicles. Also uncertain is whether these truck Power plays Electric truck makers promise cleaner, more cost-effective tractors as they look to shake up an established market. Two years before the first vehicles hit the road, questionable infrastructure and fueling capacity threaten to dampen the transition. BY JAMES JAILLET 2016 • November: Nikola unveils One tractor 2017 • November: Tesla releases Semi, begins taking orders ELECTRIC TRUCK DEPLOYMENT This rendering from Thor shows an example of what a charging station could look like, taking cues from a truck stop's parking and fuel island. • December: Thor reveals ET-One tractor

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