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It's a perception win, as their diesels produce a lot of soot (not so much anymore, with the DPF and urea injection, but .. perception).

They need a lot of torque to accelerate (err, "gain momentum") away from lights, and the instant torque of an electric motor is especially well suited for this.

The downside is that the heavy battery pack takes away cargo carrying capacity. Trucks are weight-limited to reduce damage to roads.




Regulations on larger trucks still aren't nearly as strict as they are for smaller (pickup) trucks. I'd be surprised if many of the big trucks are running DPF or urea injection. Although maybe that's just because I see more of the older ones around.


The OTR (over the road) trucks are built on multi-million mile chassis, so they get driven until they can't be repaired any more. I wouldn't doubt that some owner-operators are bypassing the emissions systems, even though those trucks tend to get better mileage. A few years ago, 6 mpg was considered good. Now 8.5 mpg is not uncommon.


> A few years ago, 6 mpg was considered good. Now 8.5 mpg is not uncommon.

Are you serious? That's horrific...


If you think that is bad, you should reconsider your car. A big truck is 3x more efficient than a Prius. Take a look at the numbers and analysis presented by "Why are cars unable to match the efficiency of the 18 wheeler?"

http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?t=41085


On a pounds per mpg basis, the truck is moving 9400 pounds (8.5mpg truck, 80,000 pounds), while a Prius is moving about 67 pounds (60 mpg, 4,000 pounds). If you look at the weight of cargo being moved, the ratios are even more in the truck's favor because it can carry 40,000 pounds, or about half it's weight (the Prius can't even come close).


Most trucks can haul about 48,000 - 50,000 pounds, since typical weight for truck and trailer is about 30,000 - 32,000 pounds. Some lightweight OTR trucks weigh less, and day cabs even less than that. Definitely more fuel efficient than any car. Trains win the grand prize, but they can only run where the rails are obviously.


All new trucks use DEF and burn low-sulfur diesel since California requires it. That has been the case for at least 10 years, if not more. The only trucks on the road that do not are older trucks and some "gliders" (new chassis and body with an overhauled engine that is older and doesn't have to meet the regulations). The vast majority of big trucks run cleaner than cars or pickups. By the way, trucking is one of the most highly regulated industries.




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