One fully-electric delivery lorry operated by German delivery company DPD, with the help of automotive giant, Continental, just set the world record for the longest distance travelled on one charge. It was driven for no less than 1,099 kilometres or 682.88 miles around a closed test track, it took 23 hours and two drivers switching in 4.5 hour shifts; the average speed was 50 km/h (31 mph).
So what is the answer to the question regarding the feasibility of having long range electric lorries that actually make sense? The answer, of course, is to stuff them full of batteries, in this case no less than 680 kWh-worth of lithium-ion cells that are actually sourced from BMW (usable pack capacity is 578 kWh).
The company that made the lorry is from Switzerland and it’s called Futuricum and it specialises in creating fully-electric lorries based on Volvo lorry chassis, as well as EV chargers and battery packs. On its official website, it says that the maximum possible range that its lorries can achieve is 760 km (472 miles), but the record-breaking Futuricum Logistics 18E lorry far exceeded that estimate.
This was possible thanks to professional drivers who made the most of the available range, special tires provided by Continental and the fact that the vehicle was unladen. It therefore weighed 15.5 tons and its maximum rated payload is 6.6 tons. The final electricity consumption after the test was 52 kWh/100 km or roughly 1.195 miles/kWh, and the lorry completed a total of 392 laps of the Contidrom oval track.
It apparently wasn’t running in ideal conditions, though, because there were fairly strong headwinds that day, and outside temperature was rather low at 14 degrees Celsius. This exact lorry has been in active service starting in May of this year and it has covered 12,033 km, its average electricity consumption was 106.8 kWh/100 km (0.58 miles/kWh) and its real world range on normal (Swiss) roads was rated at 541 km (336.1 miles).