Electric Trucks Still Coming, but Hydrogen ‘The Endgame’

Truck component manufacturers insist that electric commercial trucks is still in the cards for the future, but when they penetrate the market remains unclear.

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue kicked off a week devoted to the heavy-duty aftermarket in Dallas in late January with a session titled “The Real-World: A Global Perspective.”

Rick Dauch, CEO of Delphi Technologies, and Jim Kamsickas, chairman, CEO, and president of Dana, shared their thoughts on a range of subjects, but spent much of their time talking about vehicle electrification, reports Heavy Duty Trucking.

Kamsickas said Dana “has gone all in on electrification.” But he added that “we are energy-source agnostic, so we can do powertrain for ICE [internal combustion engines], hydrogen, and electric.” He told audience members that they need to begin to participate in the electric truck arena “at least from the learning side of the business. The mechanical piece is still needed, but you have to build on software capabilities and understand the vehicle integration.”

Dauch said the next three to five years will be marked by “generational changes” for the global transportation industry. Many countries are facing stricter emission standards. Dauch said Europeans can’t meet upcoming continental diesel standards, so they are moving to natural gas and then electric. He was quick to add that the ICE engine is not going away. While 95% of trucks are diesel, cities will move to electric as near-zero and zero-emissions zones develop.

However, he said, the transition “will not happen in your career unless you are in your 20s or 30s.”

Full electric trucks are not the only option for the future, according to Kamsickas. “We have been doing hydrogen fuel cells for 20 years, but it has not taken off.” He is confident it will happen – but not for 10 to 15 years. “Full hydrogen is the end game,” he said.

When asked about the impact of electric trucks on the aftermarket, Dauch said, there should not be an immediate impact “because [they’re] not moving that fast to pure electric.”

Full HDT story here.

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