Electric Trucks: Running a Green Fleet Made Easy With The Help of Zero Carbon Charges

Imagine a world where your fleet is a simple plug-and-play, and you worry less about harming the environment with harsh emissions.

Electric trucks are making that a reality, so reducing your carbon footprint has never been simpler.  

Learn how zero carbon charges can impact your fleet and operations.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn about electric trucks and what makes them different
  • Discover the benefits of decarbonising fleets
  • Learn how to be sustainable in fleet operations
  • Find out how you can save by going green

What are electric trucks and what makes them different

An electric truck is a rechargeable, battery-powered vehicle used to transport goods. Not to worry, it will not need a bunny to give it energy along the way, and it can save you money. They're similar to diesel trucks but designed for heavier loads and longer distances. Here's what sets them apart:

  • Electricity usage: Fully electric trucks use lithium-ion batteries that provide the truck with electricity instead of using fossil fuels. By relying on electricity, these trucks help reduce air pollution and lower carbon emissions.
  • Torque: Being equipped with electric motors rather than combustion engines, these motors provide instant torque, making the truck accelerate quicker which allows it to reach full speed at a lower time frame.
  • Battery use: The lithium ion batteries have a high power-to-weight ratio, making them energy-efficient with good temperature performance. This makes them less heavy than diesel trucks and less dense on the roads than their diesel and petrol counterparts.
  • Technology: Electric trucks have a range that varies depending on factors such as battery capacity, vehicle weight, driving conditions, and load. Advances in battery technology are extending the range of electric trucks, making them viable for long-haul transportation.
  • Decreased Maintenance: Electric trucks have fewer moving parts like exhaust systems, fuel injectors and fuel tanks. This lowers the need for regular maintenance and the financial ramifications of constantly taking your fleet in for checkups
  • Environmental Impact: with zero fuel used, electric trucks are less likely to cause air pollution, thus saving the environment.

Electric trucks offer a cleaner, quieter, and more cost-effective alternative to traditional diesel and petrol trucks, especially as battery technology continues to improve and charging infrastructure expands.

Charging: A challenge for zero-carbon electric trucks

As with regular petrol or diesel trucks, electric trucks have their own challenges. The main challenge is cost, but charging points and charging locations are both issues that fleets face if they’re looking to implement EV trucks in the future. 

You may find that a charging point is available but not compatible with your fleet. You need to find out if your truck uses Level 1, 2 or 3 fast charging points. Levels 1 and 2 are AC (alternating current) type chargers which is an alternating flow of charge that can be created from renewable sources that use rotating generators. Level 3 charging points are DC (direct current) that moves in a straight line and can be powered by solar panels, making them fast charging.

The most common charging point available for electric vehicles is the SAE J1772 electric vehicle plug, which is mainly for Level 2 charging points and is the most common electric vehicle charging point. However, most electric trucks require a ChadeMo DC charging point, as they are fast charging and can charge up to 80% in 30 minutes. This makes it best for fleet-based businesses, as the truck can quickly return to the road.


Will centralised zero-carbon charging points make it easier to go green?

In South Africa, charging availability is one of the main challenges fleet owners consider when purchasing electric trucks, and it’s probably one of the main reasons localised fleet companies still opt for diesel or petrol vehicles. Most petrol stations in South Africa do not cater to electric trucks’ charging needs, making them impractical for long-haul purposes. Companies like Zero Carbon Charge are rising to this challenge by launching their subsidiary, Zero Carbon Logistics, which will make 120 solar PV electric truck charging sites available on national highways nationwide.

This may be the game changer South African fleet companies have been waiting for. The first six charging stations are being built on the N3 major freight route between Johannesburg and Durban.

These charging stations are also expected to be up and running quite soon. Zero Carbon Charge’s co-founder, Andries Malherbe, says they aim for full functionality for all six stations by November 2027. Running an efficient green fleet right here in Mzansi might become a reality much sooner than we think.

The benefits of decarbonising fleets through electric trucks

Fleet decarbonising is an important part of running a sustainable business. It is the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There are many benefits to decarbonising your fleet, so let’s take a look at some:

  1. Reducing fleet maintenance
  2. Lowering costs
  3. Managing and reaching fleet goals
  4. Humanised corporate image

Reduced fleet maintenance: Electric trucks are said to be resilient as the electric motor has less strain on engines due to minimal fuel usage. Electric trucks require less maintenance due to regenerative braking, which allows energy to be extracted from the parts used and reused. Brake wear and tear is significantly reduced due to the truck slowing down and reusing energy helping prolong brake longevity and reduce maintenance costs. 

Lowering costs: With fuel costs rising 17% since the beginning of 2024, electric trucks are an attractive alternative. Fuel consumption is kept to a minimum—non-existent, which is great for saving on costs. On average, electric vehicles cost about R61 per 100km driven to charge whereas driving 100km in a fuel charged vehicle costs around R174. Saving R113 each time you charge your vehicle seems fair.

Managing fleet goals: If the entire fleet is up to date on maintenance, operations run smoothly. This results in having time to focus on other operational goals, such as prompt delivery and fleet efficiency, helping you channel all energies to other pressing issues that need to be addressed.

Humanised corporate image: Striving for sustainability helps improve the public’s perception of a brand. A humanised corporate image promotes word of mouth, which can help to generate more sales and engagement.

These benefits are only the tip of the iceberg if you’re looking into decarbonising your fleet.

Implementing green fleet management

Not to worry, a “green fleet” is not as different to a normal fleet as it sounds. The main thing to remember is how much it benefits your company compared to its petrol and diesel counterparts. Ensuring that your goals for your company are met–whether to save costs or be eco-savvy allows you to have more time to focus on boosting profits and improving productivity. For starters, consider adopting a reliable telematics system that can help track your vehicle maintenance and integrate a green culture to your fleet.

Keeping track of the financial advantages of going green

Going green is proving to be advantageous as we learn new ways of being sustainable. As mentioned before, a business that seems human is likely to have a higher consumer demand. What better advantage than getting more business? There are quite several financial advantages to electrifying your fleet, namely:

  • Less waste: This simply means recycling and reusing resulting in less money spent on raw materials to produce more products. Less money is spent on maintenance. For example, a company that produces plastic toys finds broken and old toys to recycle instead of making plastic from crude oil, natural gas and coal.
  • Government incentives: Some governments incentivise eco friendly companies in order to support the transition to low carbon emissions and foster an environmentally friendly country. For instance, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition plans to introduce an electric vehicle production incentive in 2026, allowing manufacturers of electric and hydrogen vehicles to claim 150% of qualifying investment spending on production capacity for these vehicles in the first year of investment.
  • Innovative revenue streams: Going green can ultimately unlock a new business venture, this can happen through investigating how a business can be environmentally charged into exploring new materials and money-saving techniques.


The rapid growth in global zero-carbon electric trucks

The implementation of zero-carbon electric trucks into fleets is fast growing worldwide, and this is visible in the amount of awareness there is in being eco-friendly in business. The way governments view clean transportation and reward businesses with incentives is by stimulating growth in EV-powered fleets and using electric trucks for commercial transportation, followed by infrastructure changes designed to support EV-powered transportation.  

With more vehicle manufacturers branching out into the electric truck space, growth and supply increases.

The rise of electric vehicle adoption in logistics

Many logistics companies worldwide are turning to electric truck adoption to contribute to saving the planet. Countries like China, Germany and the United States of America are proving to be leading the adoption of electric trucks. China dominated the sales and production of electric trucks, with nearly 66,000 trucks sold in 2022. Germany recorded an enormous 20,000 electric trucks in 2023. 

The reduction of last-mile delivery costs in logistics can be attributed to the rise as electric trucks assist in reducing due to the amount of torque, fewer mechanical parts and overall zero fuel usage. The more last-mile deliveries, the more emissions vehicles have due to traffic congestion, idling, and overall driving around.

Reducing your fleet carbon emissions with Cartrack

Implementing EV trucks into your fleet will help you reach and set higher financial and profit goals while being more environmentally friendly. However, this process can take time. Whether you’re 100% EV or not, Cartrack has solutions to help you boost your profits while ensuring you keep your fleet clean and reduce emissions.

  • Proactive maintenance:

    Whether managing a fleet of diesel or EV trucks, routine maintenance increases your fleet’s longevity, which, in turn, helps keep the resale value as high as possible. With Cartrack, you can get more value from your fleet vehicles by instantly receiving notifications with real-time vehicle diagnostics. Don’t be the last to find out about work brake pads, irregular water or oil fluctuations, engine faults, and other issues; make sure you know when your vehicles need servicing so you only experience vehicle downtime when you absolutely have to.
  • Ditch the paper:

    Going green and saving costs doesn’t need to end at your actual fleet vehicles; going paperless by automating your fleet admin helps you save time and money and harness cutting-edge technology for accurate record-keeping, reports, cost analysis, and reminders. It’s the ideal tool for cutting your admin in half while doubling your ROI.
  • Smart driver insights:

    Monitor your drivers using Cartrack’s AI-powered Live Vision cameras. With cloud connection and AI smart detection technology, drivers receive alerts in real time, giving fleet managers access to in-cabin visuals with audio. AI technology sends audible alerts to correct driver behaviour as soon as it’s detected, helping promote safe driving practices that help reduce fuel wastage and harmful emissions.

Contact Cartrack and discover how to start transforming your fleet into a sustainable force to be reckoned with.

No electric truck yet? Here’s how you can make a difference with your existing fleet

While the world is moving towards increased sustainability, and with zero carbon charging stations in the pipeline for our local highways, not every company can afford to do a clean sweep and go 100% electric all at once. But you can start by “greening” the fleet you already have. Here are four ways you can make a difference in your existing fleet:

  • Regular maintenance: Monitoring fleet maintenance lets you track what might be damaging the environment, like oil filler caps that need replacing. This is a great way to start making a difference.
  • Plan your routes: To avoid driving too long and emitting more carbon toxins, route planning allows you to arrive at your destination quicker, driving less and emitting less.
  • Avoid revving your vehicle: Harsh driving releases more emissions. Opt for smooth driving and less revving, as this helps you have control on the road and a better chance at reducing the wear and tear of your fleet engines, which may lead to more costs.
  • Idle less: The cold winters may tempt you to warm up your car, but leaving your fleet running without moving causes further environmental damage. Reduce the time you spend running the vehicle.

If you are ready to start operating sustainably, these are great ways to reduce your fleet’s carbon emissions. You can start small and work your way to switching to electric trucks.  

Let Cartrack put you in control of your fleet’s journey towards a reduced carbon footprint.

Electric Trucks: Running a Green Fleet Made Easy With The Help of Zero Carbon Charges

With the world moving towards increased sustainability, electric trucks are part of a greener solution. Discover how to implement them into your fleet.