The Future of Electric Transportation : Cybertruck Boasting its breakable unbreakable windows, Tesla’s Cybertruck seeks to fuse the robustness within the trucking domain with the fuel of the twenty-first century: electricity. Without a doubt, the Cybertruck is a fascinating concept and, coupled with its peculiar design, it surely has piqued the interests of consumers and environmentalists alike since its introduction two years ago. Electric cars are transitioning from a pure social stunt to a serious threat to take over gasoline-powered vehicles.
Given its worldwide popularity, Tesla has taken a momentous step in electrifying the automobile industry. Recent advancements are signaling towards a futuristic vision in which firms will pioneer Tesla’s technology and utilize automated vehicles.
Aside from the reservations held by anti-automation proponents such as former presidential and mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, the notion of electric-run trucks seems to be quite eco-friendly.
Trucks consume a disproportionate amount of fuel—despite only representing 5% of vehicles, they take up 20% of gasoline. Many trucks travel upwards of 400 miles a day, and the trucking industry is projected to carry an even greater brunt of shipping freight in the coming decades. However, while petroleum-fueled trucks will increasingly add CO2 to our atmosphere, switching to electricity may not be as feasible as we originally thought.
A fundamental roadblock to electric trucks is the mere fact that charging stations are not as ubiquitous as gas stations. Truck driving is the most common job in 29 states, many of which are located in the midwest and plains. Most charging stations are found on the coasts of the US, not the interior.
However, according to North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s Mike Roeth, should the market for electric trucks expand, so will the presence of charging infrastructure.
He argues that the two are hand-in-hand—firms will work their way around this obstacle.
Roeth adds that the advancements in battery technology is yet another reason to be hopeful for electric trucks. Batteries are becoming more efficient than ever, providing enough of a stimulus to drive the trucks their 500 miles.
Environmentalists and businessmen alike are also turning their interest towards electric airplanes. A nine-passenger aircraft known as Alice stands at one of the first electric-powered planes. The aircraft—built by the Israeli company Eviation—houses a battery powerful enough to travel short distances (within 500 miles). Alice, moreover, drops the cost of fuel per hour to $8–$12, from the original $400 due to gasoline.
Outside of aviation, overseas travel may become electrical through ships; however, the prospects for electric sea travel are far more uncertain than those of trucks or airplanes.
Ships, which predominantly run on diesel fuel, spew unprecedented amounts of CO2 into the air—in fact, if you take a look at a satellite image of clouds, you may witness marked streaks of pollutants across oceans, streaks that are the result of a given ship’s route.
At present, 600 of the globe’s 60,000 maritime shipping vessels run on alternative fuel.
The principal constraint preventing this number from growing is simple: cooperation. To reduce emissions, we would need ship builders and owners, governments, industrial businessmen, and researchers to band together.
And, unfortunately, history tells us that cooperation on such a large scale often does more harm than good.