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Prime Mover Magazine

Electric vehicle trend on the rise

The global electric vehicle trend shows no signs of slowing with a number of movements in the trucking technology announced by DHL, BYD, Tesla and Siemens.

In Germany, Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford are to jointly produce the “StreetScooter WORK XL”, an electric delivery van based on a Ford Transit chassis. The vehicle is fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body designed and built to Deutsche Post DHL Group specifications.

In 2017, around 150 early build e-vans will be manufactured to support Deutsche Post DHL Group in its urban parcel delivery.

Though US-based Tesla's stock prices are up 70 per cent year on year with the September unveiling of the its electric semi looming, InvestorPlace Contributor, Bret Kenwell, has also pointed out that Chinese company BYD could provide some real competition.

Backed by Warrren Buffet's investment firm – which holds a 25 per cent stake – BYD is reportedly expanding its manufacturing facilities in California,

Speaking out against the trend, lithium ion battery researcher, Venkat Viswanathan of Carnegie Mellon University, told the New York Times electric long-haul trucking is not economically feasible yet.

“Your cargo essentially becomes the battery,” Viswanathan said of the size batteries that would be needed to make range competitive with diesel.

However, alternative options are being explored with Siemens commissioned to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a 10km stretch of autobahn in the German state of Hesse.

With this field trial, the eHighway will be tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time. Siemens and Scania launched the world’s first electrically powered road in Sweden by running a specially designed Scania G 360 4x2 hybrid truck in July 2016.

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