Wal-Mart tests big rig of the future, the electric Class 8 truck
From Sacramento Bee 9-20-15
Ronald White of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article for syndication that points toward the electric class 8 trucks. These could become the heavy hauler truck of the future on America’s long and short hauls.
It’s called the WAVE, short for the Wal-Mart Advanced Vehicle Experience. It’s a concept truck that uses a cleaner burning micro turbine running on diesel, natural gas, or propane to drive an electric generator. It’s essentially a big truck hybrid, similar to a Prius or a railroad locomotive.
Capital costs for mass production of the WAVE truck are currently estimated at three times a conventional rig. But their carbon footprint and efficiency are significant. Their low emissions near seaports and near freight terminals inside cities would be appreciated by residents and health professionals.
For now, this concept truck shows promise in saving combusted diesel fuel. It could achieve a very low carbon standard by using combustible gases. In the more distant future, we may be using renewable hydrogen for this purpose. That would mean a halt to the production of CO2 by the truck fleet.
You’ve gotta crawl before you walk and like other initiatives to fight climate change and improve air quality—this one won’t happen overnight. Policies flowing from Assembly Bill 32 that call for carbon reduction are the driver for this path toward progress.