Purchase Costs of EV Fleet Vehicles

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Purchase Costs of EV Fleet Vehicles

Costs to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) for truck fleets range from $26,000 to $750,000. Details about the research approach (since average costs were not available) and additional insights are listed below. A complete pricing details table is provided within the attached spreadsheet.

Class 1

  • These are typically passenger vehicles like crossovers and SUVs with approximate costs that ranged from ~$35,000 (crossover with up to 150 miles battery life) to over $50,000 (SUV with over 250 miles battery life) in 2018.

Class 2

  • Ford F250 is noted to weigh about 6,586 lbs. Putting it just barely in class 2. Another type of vehicle fitting this class are cargo vans.
  • A look at the prices associated with an Australian startup’s pricing for its ACE EV cargo van shows that a typical cost for this class of electric vehicle would be AUD 40,000 (~$26,000).
  • Reviewing the Rivian R1T (an all-electric pickup truck that is sized between mid-sized pickups and full-sized trucks like the Ram 1500) revealed a starting cost of $69,000.
  • Rivian also has plans to produce electric adventure pickup trucks and SUVs to start at $70,000.

Class 3

  • According to news sources, Workhorse announced its initial start of production of EV delivery trucks (class 3) that rivaled the costs of comparable diesel vehicles. Trucks about the size of the 2019 Ram 2500 Heavy-Duty pick up fit within class 3. The Ram Heavy Duty starts at $33,395 and the diesel version would generally be approximately $44,700; this sets the EV class estimate at ~$45,000.
  • The Ford Transit 350HD style of vehicle (class 3) is estimated to cost between $69,000 for an electric range of up to 50 miles and $89,000 for vehicles with a range of 100 miles.

Classes 4 & 5

  • According to the California Resources Board, the purchase price for battery-electric step van vehicles was approximately $150,000 in 2018, will be $100,000 by 2024, and by 2030 will be less than $100,000. CommercialTruckTrader places the sizing and class of step vans as those between classes 4-6.

Class 6

  • A Lion Electric Company “urban class 8 truck” that weighed 24,600 lbs—which put it in the class 6 categorization—costs between $250,000-$400,000.
  • The average purchase price for an electric step van (ranging within classes 4-6) is $150,000.

Class 7

  • Tesla semi-trucks are noted to weigh approximately 25,000 lbs. In 2018, Albertsons pre-ordered 10 of them at $180,000 per vehicle.

Class 8

  • The average cost for an electric transit bus is $750,000, a school bus averages $230,000.

Additional Insights

  • Light duty battery costs have declined dramatically over the last decade; battery costs are typically the largest cost component of battery-electric vehicles.
  • While additional cost reductions are expected for other electric vehicle components, heavy-duty batteries continue to cost more than light-duty; “it is unclear if this trend will continue.”
  • Some companies use light-duty batteries in heavy-duty applications as a way to cut costs.
  • There is some discussion in the industry about the difficulty of estimating the total cost of ownership for medium-duty electric trucks due to issues predicting e-commerce, fuel prices, power issues, battery issues, and regulatory issues.
  • Lifetime total cost of ownership (TCO) per battery electric vehicle is projected to be lower than diesel TCO by 2030 at ~$1 million.
  • This 2016 report provides a very detailed analysis of costs (e.g., chargers, gasoline, electricity costs, maintenance) and other issues related to starting EV fleets (e.g., scooters, taxis, e-bikes).

Research Strategy

The research team attempted to identify average purchase costs based on class type for EV fleet trucks. However, despite efforts researching news stories, industry reports, and government databases, we were not able to locate a preexisting listing of these average costs by vehicle class; nor were other costs like total cost of ownership or lifetime costs available per class.

While conducting the research, however, the team found that it was possible to identify some individual costs of EV fleet trucks (e.g., transit buses) based on recent news coverage. In the absence of more comprehensive primary data that averaged costs, the team presents cost listings based on advertised prices or recently paid/posted costs.

The research team used the vehicle classification systems associated with the Federal Highway Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emissions Classification system as well as descriptions from other sources to standardize the class structure presented.
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