FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Electrification in trucking and surveying the driverless landscape

DETAILS: A discussion on the areas where electric vehicles and autonomy will be used in the trucking industry.

INTERVIEWER AND SPEAKER: Sebastian Blanco, automotive supply chain analyst and journalist at FreightWaves, and Michael Ramsey, VP, analyst, automotive and smart mobility, Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT).

BIO: Ramsey leads Gartner’s automotive and smart mobility research in the CIO group at Gartner. His research has focused on autonomous things, data monetization, transportation platforms, mobility services, future business models, innovation labs and the various technologies, such as electric vehicles, that are emerging in the sector.

Prior to Gartner, Ramsey was the senior automotive reporter at The Wall Street Journal.


On electrification in trucking: “In the package delivery, in the last-mile delivery or midmile delivery, there’s a huge amount of promise and I think, frankly, a lot of development and even production intent in that area. It might be the actual area where electrification takes off the most quickly. You have shorter routes, you have a lot of stop and go where EVs’ range is amplified instead of reduced like it is in a diesel engine.”

On the timetable for electrification in trucking: “In long-haul trucking for sure, EVs are at least five to 10 years behind consumer vehicles. In short-haul trucking and package delivery, I think we’re actually, they may be even, from a commercial standpoint, ahead of consumer vehicles.”

On initial uses of autonomous trucking: “Where autonomy is already taking off is in distribution centers or distribution yards. In very short distance, autonomy is quite valuable. I fully anticipate that is actually where we’re going to see autonomy proliferate because it’s dangerous, there’s a labor shortage, there’s a need and you have a much more controlled environment. My guess is you’re going to see autonomy take off in Amazon warehouses and nearby and ports and airports, and trucking will come in the next 10 years but it’s probably going to be in very small increments.”  

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

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