China Unveils First Heavy-Duty Truck Powered by Batteries and Overhead Wires

On March 14, China’s first heavy-duty truck powered by batteries and overhead wires rolled off the production line in Datong, north China’s Shanxi province, filling the country’s technological gap in this field. The truck will operate on highways and in the mines. When the vehicle uses its brakes, the electric energy generated by the braking action can be automatically reused.

Based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), transportation contributes to 26% of global carbon emissions. In China, the total volume of railway freight, road freight, and water transport in 2022 was 3.9 billion tons, 37.12 billion tons, and 7.616 billion tons, respectively. These figures represent 8.0%, 76.3%, and 15.69% of the total freight transportation volume in the country.

China’s first heavy-duty truck powered by batteries and overhead wires (Source: CCTV)

To reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector, China is focusing its efforts on road freight. Although fuel freight vehicles make up only 3.1% of the total number of motor vehicles, they contribute significantly to the emission of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. In fact, these vehicles account for 18.0%, 39.7%, 22.7%, 53.4%, and 59.9% of the emissions of these pollutants, respectively.

The IEA has proposed that road electrification will be the direction of future development and has predicted that by 2050, 36% of heavy freight trucks will be moved by electricity.

China’s heavy-duty truck market saw a significant increase in sales in February 2023, according to data from the China Automobile Association. Sales of heavy-duty trucks reached 77,200 units, representing a month-on-month increase of 58% and a year-on-year increase of 29%. Seven out of the top ten heavy-duty truck enterprises achieved year-on-year growth, with Sinotruk leading the way with sales of 22,000 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 83% and a market share of 28.51%. Other companies, such as Dongfeng Motor, Shaanxi Automobile Group, and Foton Motor, also saw substantial growth.

SEE ALSO: Geely’s Farizon Auto Small Truck E200S Heads to Chile

This surge in sales comes after 21 consecutive months of declines in the heavy-duty truck market in China, which started in May 2021. The growth in February 2023 is seen as a positive sign for the industry. Ouyang Ming Gao, the vice chairman of China EV100, has expressed optimism about the future of electric heavy-duty trucks. He believes that the electrification of heavy-duty trucks will maintain a growth rate of 90% to 100% in 2023, with battery swapping being an economical option to support the transition.