Kenworth’s orders for electric trucks have tripled in the last three months

Kenworth Truck Co. recently shared news of hugely growing interest in their range of all-electric medium and heavy trucks, noting that orders have tripled in the last 90 days as fleets appear to be benefiting from sweet incentives for zero-emission vehicles.

Kenworth Truck Company is an American truck manufacturer and subsidiary of PACCAR, which also owns big names such as Peterbilt Motors. The Seattle-based haulage company specializes in Class 8 heavy and Class 5-7 medium-sized commercial vehicles, bringing nearly 100 years of experience to the table.

In 2021, Kenworth began production of a new “E” series of all-electric trucks, including the K270E K370E midsize models and the Class 8 T680E, which was recently showcased in Las Vegas at CES 2022.

With a growing range of electric battery trucks being produced, the interest of commercial customers continues to grow as they discover the benefits of the total cost of ownership of electrified fleets. Oh, and huge sales incentives over $ 100k do not hurt either.

Kenworth electric truck
Kenworth T680E exhibited at CES 2022 / Source: Kenworth Truck Co.

Kenworth notices an increase in demand for its new electric truck line

News by the influx of orders for electric trucks was reviewed by Freight waves, alongside a media demonstration at the PACCAR Innovation Center in Sunnyvale, California, which included tours of the K270E and T680E.

Hank Johnson, Kenworth’s general sales manager for commercial and medium-sized trucks, told the business that the trucking company has already received orders from all regions of the United States and most of Canada. In addition, Johnson noted that Kenworth has offered deals to customers in 44 of the 50 states. Johnson elaborated:

When we started this, we focused on the West Coast, where the significant grant money lived. But to our surprise, there has certainly been a lot more activity outside of these states than we originally expected.

Johnson refers to California’s hybrid and zero-emission truck and bus coupon incentive project (HVIP), which allows Class 8 trucks that can be classified as ZEVs to be eligible for an incentive of up to $ 120,000 per. vehicle.

Competitor for infant transport Nikola Motors announced HPIV approval for its Three BEV this week, but electric trucks from Kenworth and PACCAR siblings Peterbilt qualified in September 2020.

Although interest is growing rapidly, orders themselves remain relatively small in size – averaging dozens. Johnson spoke once again about the fleet’s electrification process:

What they [fleet customers] typically does is [managing] the truck through different applications, through different routes. They will try to figure out which one works best for them and then it becomes a permanent part of their fleet and the next truck, provided the performance is good, stays in the fleet.

While maintenance and fuel savings are expected to be 30% lower compared to traditional diesel trucks, there are still some obstacles for some commercial customers, especially in terms of charging infrastructure. Johnson spoke again:

It can literally depend on what was the infrastructure underground for your site. If you just put it in five years ago, and it’s all up to code, and there is excess capacity for you to add a charger, then the investment in the infrastructure there may be low. But if you’ve been somewhere near a port for 70 years and no one has [put] a new transformer in, it could be significant. It really depends on what you come in the market with.

Meanwhile, five other states have passed California’s rules for advanced clean truck, while several offer their own subsidies – many require a one-on-one exchange to get dirty diesel trucks off the road faster.

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