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New Report Pegs Cost of Electrifying U.S. Commercial Truck Fleet at $1 Trillion

Washington — Full electrification of the U.S. commercial truck fleet would require nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure investment alone, according to a new report from Roland Berger released today by the Clean Freight Coalition. The study forecasts a realistic infrastructure buildout for the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, exposing what the CFC calls a massive investment gap as state and federal policymakers mandate increased adoption rates of battery-electric commercial vehicles.

Key findings:

  • Preparing today’s commercial vehicle fleet for electrification would require the commercial vehicle industry to invest upwards of $620 billion in charging infrastructure alone, including chargers, site infrastructure and electric service upgrades.
  • Utilities would need to invest $370 billion to upgrade their grid networks to meet the demands of just commercial vehicles.
  • This nearly $1 trillion expenditure does not account for the cost of new battery-electric trucks, which according to market research can be two to three times more expensive than their diesel-powered equivalents. For example, a diesel Class 8 truck costs roughly $180,000, while a comparable battery-electric truck costs over $400,000.

The CFC, which consists of transportation stakeholders across the trucking and motorcoach industries, says that policymakers must address these cost concerns and infrastructure hurdles to make an electrified supply chain function smoothly for the American economy. The study found that while medium-duty vehicles will face fewer roadblocks, economic and operational constraints make electrification very challenging for the heavy-duty segment.  Furthermore, the study outlined the significant improvements in battery range and charging infrastructure capabilities that would be needed to support a path for the electrification of longhaul vehicles.

“Electrification means focusing on the vehicle segments that are easier first; it means that we have to look at how fleets operate and potentially adjust; it means that we need better cooperation and planning across industries and governments; and it requires an openness to alternative technology paths to decarbonizing the heavy-duty segment,” said Roland Berger Senior Partner Dr. Wilfried Aulbur. “It also is clear that an industry with a yearly turnover of about $800 billion and a profit margin around 5% cannot invest $620 billion without financial support or a significant increase in freight rates.”

“This study thoroughly examines the issues surrounding the infrastructure buildout necessary to electrify commercial vehicles, and it clearly shows how the heavy-duty vehicle industry’s needs are vastly different not just from other sectors of our economy, but from each other,” said CFC Executive Director Jim Mullen. “I want to thank the team at Roland Berger for so clearly outlining the challenges electrifying our supply chain poses as the industry and nation continue working toward our shared goal of reducing trucking’s impact on the environment.”

To read a one-page summary of the report, click here. A fuller summary of Roland Berger's work can be found here.

Paying the Bill: What They’re Saying About the Cost of Supply Chain Electrification

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear:

“We’re facing an unfunded, $1 trillion mandate that carries enormous consequences for the American consumer. You don’t overcome obstacles by ignoring them, which this study lays out the high investment costs required to electrify the commercial vehicle industry. Policymakers should take note that pursuing technology-neutral solutions can deliver operational savings and emissions reductions at a fraction of the cost. A real-world understanding of the path to our shared goal of zero emissions is needed, but unrealistic timelines and expectations will break the bank.”

American Truck Dealers President Laura Perrotta:

“America’s commercial truck dealers have made enormous investments to sell and service EVs – nearly $1 billion in this decade. Unfortunately, dealers are faced with inadequate charging infrastructure, delays when installing chargers due to parts shortages and utility workload challenges, and unaffordable upgrades required to meet new electricity demands. This study puts into perspective the enormous national commercial charging needs and related costs required to meet the Administration’s regulatory goals.”

American Bus Association President and CEO Peter Pantuso:

“Forcing the transportation sector to transition to electric vehicles, without considering the totality of what’s involved, makes no sense. This study is a wakeup call and should change the conversation. The U.S. bus industry has a strong environmental record, taking cars off the road and reducing congestion. We’ll continue to support climate initiatives, but they need to be grounded in reality, and the reality is: charging infrastructure has a long way to go before EV transition can succeed.”

NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings:

“As fuel providers serving the fleets moving freight on the Interstate Highway System, our industry is at the forefront of investments in new refueling technologies and their infrastructure. Today’s report from Roland Berger clearly demonstrates that policy must not depend on a single technology to reduce the carbon emissions from commercial trucks. Investing in the necessary charging stations to fuel commercial trucks is expected to require $620 billion from truck stops, fleets and ultimately consumers. To raise that kind of capital, we need to overcome the many challenges impeding businesses’ ability to recoup these vast investments. This report underscores the critical need for policymakers to incentivize the existing low-carbon fueling options available today, including renewable diesel and biodiesel, while the industry implements longer-term options.”

National Tank Truck Carriers, President and CEO Ryan Streblow:

“The eye-opening report released today by Roland Berger on forecasting a realistic electric infrastructure across our nation to support the trucking industry reinforces the tank truck industry’s concerns on the current aggressive and unrealistic regulatory approach to zero emissions. We will continue to face major electrification concerns in the tank truck industry - excess weight, limited range, and safety. The tank truck industry is our nation’s insurance policy when natural disasters strike. Before flipping a switch, we need to ensure there is a scalable and affordable energy source in place to allow the tank truck industry to serve those when they need it the most. The Roland Berger data is a clear indication our legislators and regulators need to work with the trucking industry to effectively develop and deploy a sustainable long-term solution.”

National Motor Freight Traffic Association Executive Director Debbie Sparks:

“As representatives for the less-than-truckload segment of the industry, the transition to zero emission trucks is a paramount concern to our members; if not done in a sustainable and affordable fashion, it will negatively impact their businesses, as well as the overall supply chain. This study is imperative to the understanding of the issues at stake in this move to zero emission trucks.”

Truckload Carriers Association President Jim Ward:

“Roland Berger's in-depth analysis does a great job of illuminating the challenges that arise when transforming the industry to 100% BEV. It provides great insight into the capital investment and upgrades required for utility distribution and transmission and identifies the vast number of chargers that will need to be installed to continue to deliver America’s goods in a timely manner.”  

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The Clean Freight Coalition is an alliance of transportation stakeholders committed to a clean energy future for America’s commercial vehicle industry. Participating associations span motor carriers of every size and sector, truck dealers, truck stop operators and bus industry. Learn more at

Roland Berger is the only management consultancy of European heritage with a strong international footprint. As an independent firm, solely owned by our Partners, we operate 51 offices in all major markets. Our 3000 employees offer a unique combination of an analytical approach and an empathic attitude. Driven by our values of entrepreneurship, excellence and empathy, we at Roland Berger are convinced that the world needs a new sustainable paradigm that takes the entire value cycle into account. Working in cross-competence teams across all relevant industries and business functions, we provide the best expertise to meet the profound challenges of today and tomorrow.