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New Task Force Seeks to Establish EV Efficiency Practices

Kevin Otto
Task force Chairman Kevin Otto says that he wants to use the group’s time to start the development of a Recommended Practice that would include a glossary of terms related to battery-electric vehicles. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The new era of the commercial electric fleet brings a new task force for electric vehicle-efficiency performance.

The debut session, under the study group S.11 Sustainability & Environmental Technologies, was part of the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council 2022 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition on March 7.

Kevin Otto, chairman of the Electrified Vehicles Task Force, used the session to describe how the introduction of battery-electric vehicles will challenge the ways the industry will measure efficiency. Possible metrics are miles per gallon divided by fuel cost, the percent of idle time, hours of operation, top-gear percentage and preventive maintenance triggers.


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To build a foundation, Otto said that the task force hopes to establish periodic vehicle maintenance with electric vehicles. He also explained the difference between EVs and diesel maintenance such as the equivalence of the fuel island for an EV.

“It’s somewhat different for the charging station. You have an electrical meter that is tracking how much electricity you’re driving into the property,” he said. “That electrical meter is probably not right by the charging station. The charging station is just the dispenser of the electricity. There’s losses between all those different points. So, that’s not the same with fuel.

“With fuel, you’ve got that meter right on the fuel pump You’re not pouring it on the floor. It’s going into the tank and getting used by the engine. It’s not the same.”

Otto said that he wanted to use the task force’s time to start the development of a Recommended Practice that would include a glossary of terms related to battery-electric vehicles, define a commonality with OEMs and suppliers.

The scope of vehicles suggested would be limited to commercial Classes 3-8 trucks excluding off-road vehicles, with the exception of yard tractors.

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