US truck shipments compromise a $180 billion industry and cost roughly 12 cents per ton-mile today. As automakers are waking up to the realization that electric, autonomous drivetrains are the future of passenger vehicles, ARK’s research shows that commercial trucks will follow in line.
Converting diesel trucks into electric vehicles will reduce operating costs, thanks to lower fuel and maintenance costs. Lower operating costs will heighten the impact of higher utilization rates and labor savings from autonomous technology, ultimately pushing down the cost per ton-mile of trucking to one-fourth of today’s trucking rates. At this price point, autonomous electric trucks should be a cheaper shipping method than rail, driving more goods into trucks and creating a $100 billion market opportunity for firms like Tesla [TSLA], Daimler, and Alphabet [GOOG].
The waterfall chart below shows the freight cost savings from converting a Human Driven Diesel Truck to an Autonomous Electric Truck:
To understand why autonomous electric trucks should disrupt the freight industry dramatically, we created a detailed cost breakdown per ton-mile: