US trucking firm warns on ‘too much enthusiasm’ for electric HDVs
Paccar CEO favours a more prudent approach
“I think that there was maybe a lot of enthusiasm, maybe too much enthusiasm.” So says Preston Feight, CEO of US trucking firm Paccar on the heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) sector’s journey towards electrification.
The evolution towards electric is instead “going to happen gradually, rather than rapidly”, Feight predicts. “There are a lot of things that have to come along with it, energy and infrastructure.
“From a Paccar standpoint, it has been our approach all along — we would start in the tens, move to the hundreds, go to the thousands, that is the progression we are in,” he continues.
The firm will “continue to make prudent investments that will be timed to what we think the adoption rates are going to be”. As an example, the gigafactory joint venture between Paccar, Germany's Daimler Trucks, US engine firm Cummins and Chinese battery maker, which is due to come online in 2027 and for which Marshall County, MS was confirmed as the location earlier this month, means that Paccar will have the "most cost-efficient, high-performing batteries when the time [is] right”.
“Building a battery cell factory in a joint venture manner will give us sufficient volume to supply our needs throughout the rest of the decade, as we gradually adopt,” says Feight.
“And it puts Paccar in a really good position to offer our customers the best products they can get when they are looking for EVs, keep up with the regulatory [requirements], and also take a thoughtful approach to adoption.”