Heavy-Duty Truck Electrification and the Impacts of Depot Charging on Electricity Distribution Systems

Brennan Borlaug, Matteo Muratori, Madeline Gilleran, David Woody, William Muston, Thomas Canada, Andrew Ingram, Hal Gresham, Charlie McQueen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus Citations


Major technological advancements and recent policy support are improving the outlook for heavy-duty truck electrification in the United States. In particular, short-haul operations (≤200 miles (≤322 km)) are prevalent and early candidates for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) given their short, predictable routes and return-to-base applications, which allows vehicles to recharge when off shift at their depots. Although previous studies investigated the impacts of added electrical loads on distribution systems, which included light-duty EVs, the implications for heavy-duty EV charging are underexplored. Here we summarize the causes, costs and lead times of distribution system upgrades anticipated for depot charging. We also developed synthetic depot charging load profiles for heavy-duty trucks from real-world operating schedules, and found that charging requirements are met at common light-duty EV charging rates (≤100 kW per vehicle). Finally, we applied depot charging load profiles to 36 distribution real-world substations, which showed that most can accommodate high levels of heavy-duty EV charging without upgrades.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)673-682
Number of pages10
JournalNature Energy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-78232


  • charging infrastructure
  • depot
  • electric vehicles
  • grid impacts
  • grid integration
  • heavy-duty trucks
  • load profiles
  • power system


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