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Electric Trucks: A Hit with Drivers, Potentially Easing the Industry’s Recruitment Challenges

Highlights

  • Electric trucks may aid driver recruitment.

  • Drivers prefer EVs' smooth, quiet operation.

  • Positive driver experiences could be pivotal.

As the trucking sector grapples with a notable driver shortfall, companies are seeking innovative ways to attract and retain drivers. While industry trade groups staunchly oppose the move towards electrification, electric vehicles (EVs) may prove to be an unexpected asset in recruitment efforts because drivers have expressed a fondness for them.

Insights from Industry Experts

Dave Schaller from the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, in a recent webinar by Charged, discussed 10 case studies demonstrating the benefits companies are experiencing by incorporating electric trucks into their fleets.

Driver Testimonials Reveal Electric Trucks’ Appeal

Having conversed with numerous drivers, Schaller reveals that despite initial doubts, drivers have unanimously voiced their appreciation for driving electric Class 8 trucks. For example, a Pepsico driver who typically dislikes new technology admitted to loving the Tesla Semi after only a few days of driving it.

Furthermore, a UPS driver who initially couldn’t imagine driving an electric truck now finds it exhilarating. Similarly, a US Food driver emphatically expressed his hope to never return to driving diesel trucks.

Electric trucks charm drivers with their smooth operation, eliminating the need for shifting gears, which contributes to a more stable and comfortable ride. Such positive driver experiences suggest that EVs could be a strategic tool in addressing the driver shortage issue within the industry.

The vehicles’ quiet nature also allows drivers to better perceive their surroundings, a feature that adds to their appeal. Schaller emphasizes the importance of these benefits, stating that drivers’ love for EVs could be a key advantage for the industry, given the current shortage of drivers.

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