Smaller batteries no problem for light-duty trucks

There has been much focus on the size of an electric vehicle’s powertrain. But in the light-duty sector, bigger is not necessarily better. By Freddie Holmes

Light-duty trucks and commercial vans are prime targets for electrification. With lower gross vehicle weights (GVW) than in the medium-and heavy-duty sector, battery packs can be much smaller and lighter. And while a long, flat chassis could easily support larger packs, all that extra grunt would be overkill in most cases. Research has shown that light-duty commercial vehicles (CVs) rarely exceed more than 100 miles of driving a day, and lighter payloads naturally require less power and torque.

In the US, light-duty is defined by trucks or ‘truck-like’ vehicles with a GVW of up to 8,500 pounds (3,860kg) and a payload capacity up to 4,000 pounds (1,815kg). In Europe, the comparable light commercial vehicle sector (LCV) defines vehicles that are used for the carriage of goods, with a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg) but not exceeding 12 tonnes. As such, the sector boasts a wide array of vans and trucks, all of which are prime targets for electrification.

The light-duty sector will rapidly electrify thanks to lighter, cheaper batteries

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