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Fleet Management 4 min read

Why megawatt charging is a game changer for electric trucks

An electric truck docked at an EV charge station.

E-fleet charging is faster than ever. But can the logistics industry keep up?

Electric trucks are better for the environment than their traditional fuel-guzzling counterparts. And with sustainability driving the motivation for electric vehicle adoption, fleet managers are increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint. But the excitement about greener fleets is hanging in the balance of one potentially big issue: charging time.

A woman at charge station charging a vehicle

Accelerating efficiency

Conventional charging methods take too long, slowing down operations and reducing efficiency. Electric trucks can take several hours or even overnight to fully charge their large batteries, depending on factors such as the battery capacity and the type of charger. Spending hours on a charge is far from ideal when tight delivery schedules and potentially dissatisfied customers are at stake. This is where megawatt charging systems (MCS) come in.

MCS charging delivers high-voltage direct current (DC) with a power of up to 3.75 megawatts. This rapid charging process involves a specialized connector and cable system to handle this power intensity safely. Trucks equipped with compatible battery management systems draw the current, converting it to recharge their batteries.

At the same time, cooling mechanisms within the cables prevent overheating, ensuring safety and reliability. As a result, heavy-duty electric trucks can be recharged in about 30 minutes, significantly reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiency while maintaining rigorous safety standards for both vehicles and charging stations.

A man holding a changre nozzle to charge his electric vehicle

Keep on trucking

Currently available in pilot projects and test sites across Europe and North America, megawatt charging enables truckers to stay on the road longer. It also makes scheduling a lot easier.

This is because MCS essentially removes one of the last remaining barriers to widespread electric truck adoption: charging downtime. For fleet managers who handle route planning and delivery schedules, this means more reliability. The power to quickly recharge batteries means that trucks can return to their routes with minimal delay, keeping goods moving and deliveries arriving on time.

But fast charging alone isn't enough.

Plugging into technology

Location technology plays a crucial role in maximizing the benefits of megawatt charging. With precise mapping and real-time data, location services help drivers find the nearest available megawatt chargers quickly. By providing up-to-date information on charger availability, wait times and operational status, location intelligence enables electric trucks to plan their routes efficiently and avoid unnecessary delays.

In Germany, Siemens Smart Infrastructure successfully completed the first 1MW charge in a pilot project. Using precise geolocation data and real-time analytics to ensure the chargers were positioned along critical points of major transport routes. The project's success highlights how location technology can effectively support the broader adoption and practical application of megawatt charging infrastructure.

More speed, less carbon

The list of benefits includes sustainability too. Fast charging supports enterprises aiming to integrate renewable energy into their fleets. According to the New York Times, battery electricity derived from solar and other renewable sources is on its way up, pairing perfectly with MCS to promote a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation ecosystem. This blend of rapid charging and renewable energy not only enhances efficiency but also aligns with global objectives to reduce carbon footprints and foster environmental responsibility.

An electric vehicle connected to a chargepoint.

Supercharging the future

The expansion of megawatt charging infrastructure is set to accelerate over the next few years. As technology advances and becomes more cost-effective, we can expect to see a wider distribution of these powerful chargers. Future prospects include integration into urban areas, providing support not just for long-haul trucks but also for other large electric vehicles like buses and delivery vans.

Maja Stefanovic

Maja Stefanovic

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