3 minutes

Heavy Duty Freight Electrification in North America: The Road to 2035

The US and Canada have ambitious targets to electrify freight routes with heavy duty electric vehicles and charging by 2035. Challenges and opportunities lie ahead.
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Fleet electrification is underway in critical freight locations across the United States and Canada, often with ambitious targets and deadlines that loom large on the calendar.

Nowhere is the need to electrify more acute than in California, where CARB - the California Air Resources Board – has set out wide-ranging HDEV goals for 2035.

By that time, the following mandatory targets for all-electric vehicle sales in these categories are in place:

  • 40% of tractor-trailers and large rigs,
  • 55% delivery vans and small trucks,
  • 75% of buses and larger trucks.

Even staunch environmentalists and supportive freight organizations know that hitting these goals will take a lot of work.

Beyond producing enough new electric vehicles to meet diverse routing and workload requirements, support systems including HDEV-certified technicians, utility upgrades, and charging infrastructure must also be put in place.

Here are some of the challenges facing freight electrification and how the right electric models and charging solutions can make HDEV goals a reality.

Range Requirements


Electric fleet vehicles don’t go as far on a single charge as their combustion equivalents do on a full tank.


Allocate routes and optimize route planning based on the capabilities of individual models. Maximize HDEV efficiency on long shifts with routes that take advantage of regenerative braking. Implement software designed to make the most of electric vehicle capabilities to minimize running costs and limit low state of charge scenarios.

Limited Charging Infrastructure


Deploying reliable high power charging stations customized to freight users.


Explore charging solutions that can be temporarily deployed with minimal installation costs. Understand the strengths and limitations of these solutions by deploying pilot programs across different site types and gathering data on each use case. Prioritize permanent fast charging stations or upscaled battery-integrated units for sites that are stretched.

CapEx Costs


Prohibitive cost of installing long-term EV infrastructure and high-power charging.


Explore funding options from state and federal sources committed to commercial fleet electrification. Partner with experienced infrastructure agents with a track record of identifying viable sites, securing funding, and deploying reliable solutions. Consider alternative financing arrangements for costly hardware, such as leasing or collaborative purchase agreements with other HDEV stakeholders.

Space Constraints and Site Upgrades


For fleets and depots based in metro areas, space is limited, and any construction is disruptive. For more remote locations, limited power can require site upgrades for fast charging.


Charging solutions come in multiple shapes and sizes to meet diverse site requirements. All-in-one charging units with a minimal footprint can be deployed to maximize the space allocated to EV charging. Adding battery-integrated solutions designed for limited grid connections can overcome power limitations without sacrificing charge speed.

Long, Complicated Project Timelines


Installing high power charging for HDEV fleets can take years, due to planning, permitting, and electrical considerations complicating the process.


Deploy simplified, semi-permanent HDEV charging. Elywhere's ES360 station is a battery-integrated solution that can be installed immediately, avoiding the need for lengthy permitting processes or disruptive groundwork. These units can be a bridge to permanent high power charging depots or scale up to meet increased demand with more units.

Electrification of heavy-duty vehicles and freight fleets brings benefits to all parties. Fleet operators can increase efficiency, reduce running costs, and minimize the total cost of ownership across fleet vehicles. At the same time, communities impacted by freight traffic and workers who serve the sector see health benefits from less exposure to emissions and reduced noise in busy areas.  

The road to HDEV electrification by 2035 is long and faces several potential barriers, but with the right partnerships and appropriate planning these challenges can be turned into opportunities.

Contact Elywhere today and turn your fleet charging challenges into an opportunity to shorten deployment times and reduce operational costs.

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