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February 28, 2008



The electric truck market seems to be taking off. When will electric cars really reach this level?

I suspect the answer is "When it makes sense."

The delivery truck is positioned to even better advantage of a full electric drive train than a car - short, start and stop movements; the congestion exemption for the city of London; and with a bit of planning, a mid-day recharge while the driver eats lunch.

All this helps the economies of the electric vs. IC engine vehicle.

The experience gained from the trucks will then flow into cars.

Think of the evolution of the diesel engine. The first uses were on ships and railway locomotives, then heavy trucks. Now they are common in cars in Europe. I am sure they will become more common here in the USA as the manufacturers gain experience with systems that tightly control particulates and NOx as demanded by the EPA.

Stephen Boulet

Good post. Keep in mind though that "making sense" might not necessarily mean making sense based strictly on the economics of saving fuel costs, as proved by the Prius owners who probably won't recoup in gas savings the extra money it took to make their car. Being abole to show yourself as greener-than-thou has an added economic value too.

Which is a good thing.


John H

I am always glad to see companies taking steps like this to change the face of their markets. Coca-Cola recently purchased a bunch of Hybrid trucks to handle their deliveries, so it looks like the market is there (outside of London too). I think it was UPS that started using small electric cars, like the ZAP Xebra, to deliver small packages in highly congested markets (much easier than lugging a big "Brown" truck around tight corners). http://www.zapworld.com

Jeff Deasy

I want to urge support for the legislation just passed by the House of Representatives to provide tax breaks for wind power, solar power, other alternative energy sources, and energy conservation.

The money is to come from the elimination of tax breaks for the oil and gas industry that would amount to $18 billion over the next 10 years. The 5 largest oil companies earned more than $120 billion in net profits last year.

The bill is expected to face opposition in the U.S. Senate and face a potential veto by President Bush, making it critical that concerned citizens contact those elected to represent them and make themselves heard.


Enova Systems. Formed in 1976. 32 years ago.

For the nine months ending in September 2007, total revenues were 5.143 million dollars. Net loss for the same period, 5.878 million.

A key player in the electrification of the world's transportation systems?

Not so much.

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J.C., Sr.

Your thoughts on car versus truck are right on. A recent post by peakoildebunked shows a list of total oil usages. Cars 40.7%(gasoline), trucks 12.7% (diesel). I wonder what that percentage would be if 80% of cars run on diesel, as do trucks?

Stan Wellaway

Smith EV shipped 250 of their all-electric delivery trucks in the latter part of 2007, and expect to deliver a further thousand or so in 2008. They are ramping up production to 10,000 a year by 2010. This month they began making the 12 ton version of their Newton on US soil, in Fresno, California.

mike heintz

I am wondering how much it will take to run a electric truck? Cost in electricity versis the cost of gas?


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Have we reached the point yet where the cost of production and cost to consumer for electric vehicles is beneficial enough to do it on a mass scale? Until that happens, we're going to be stuck on this downhill ride. We're probably getting closer, but is it too little, too late?


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Smith utilises a 120kw electric drive system in the Smith Newton, the world’s first zero emission 7.5t - 12t truck. A 90kw electric drive system is installed in the Smith Edison, the world’s first all-electric sub-3.5t van.


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