In recent years, the conversation around decarbonization and zero-emissions vehicles has gained significant momentum, particularly in the battery electric truck segment. As we approach 2030 and witness the tightening of regulations, such as those in California, the trucking industry is experiencing a notable shift towards discussions on equipment and infrastructure support to achieve decarbonization goals. This transition places a considerable burden on dealers who play a crucial role in facilitating the adoption and success of electric trucks & electric transport solutions.
The Changing Landscape of the Trucking Industry
The urgency to reduce emissions and transition to cleaner technologies has pushed the topic of decarbonization to the forefront. Fleet operators and trucking companies are increasingly recognizing the need to incorporate zero-emissions equipment into their operations. As a result, dealers are now expected to provide guidance and support to their customers as they navigate the purchase, maintenance, and operation of new electric truck technologies.
Gateway Truck and Refrigeration: Leading the Shift
Gateway Truck and Refrigeration, a prominent player in the trucking industry, Eduqation has embraced the challenge of becoming a leader in the electric truck market. When Volvo Trucks North America designated Gateway as the first Volvo Trucks Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) Dealership in Illinois, Zach Wagner, the dealer principal, expressed their commitment to guiding customers through the electrification process. Acknowledging the unique requirements of battery-electric trucks compared to their traditional diesel counterparts, Gateway designed a new facility from the ground up to cater specifically to the needs of electric truck owners. Their aim is to provide exceptional service and support to ensure a successful transition to electromobility.
Pioneering Electric Truck Adoption
Gateway has already made substantial progress in the electric truck market. They have successfully sold 46 Volvo VNR Electric trucks, with 10 already delivered to Quality Custom Distribution (QCD). These trucks are actively deployed in QCD’s Southern California fleet, where they are responsible for delivering products to restaurants and coffee shops. The remaining 35 Volvo VNR Electric trucks purchased by QCD will be built and delivered throughout 2023 and 2024. Gateway’s collaboration extends beyond QCD; they have also partnered with Artur Express, a nationwide transportation and logistics company, to introduce the first Volvo VNR Electric truck domiciled in the central region with a home base in St. Louis.
The Dealer’s Role in the Electric Truck Process
While EV Certified Dealer announcements from Volvo Trucks North America emphasize the importance of electric vehicle support, it is essential to understand the specific responsibilities of dealers in the electrification process. Dealers offer valuable assistance beyond merely providing truck service. They act as trusted advisors, helping fleets navigate the complexities of electric truck adoption. From advising on vehicle selection and charging infrastructure to training personnel and offering post-sales support, dealers play a critical role in ensuring a smooth transition to electric trucks.
Looking Beyond Electric Trucks
As the industry continues to evolve, dealers must also consider the broader technological landscape. While battery-electric trucks dominate current discussions, it is essential to keep an eye on emerging technologies like hydrogen fuel cells. Dealers must stay informed and equipped to guide their customers in evaluating future options. By maintaining a comprehensive understanding of alternative fuel technologies, dealers can continue to play a vital role in supporting fleets and truck operators.