Run on Less: Moving trucking to zero

Run on Less
Run on Less
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
2 January 2024

Run on Less is the on-road, real-world, demonstration for commercial-battery-electric trucks, showcasing the current state of trucking technology.

Richard Branson and Virgin Unite helped launch the very first Run on Less roadshow back in 2017 and since then have continued to support the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and RMI teams that are working with the industry to find ways to move goods in a more sustainable manner.

Run on Less
Run on Less

The latest roadshow, Run on Less – Electric DEPOT, has proved that truck depots can operate battery electric vehicles in large numbers in a variety of use cases.

“Through Run on Less – Electric DEPOT we were able to show that adopters of battery electric vehicles have demonstrated that they work at scale in various segments of the trucking industry including vans and step vans, medium-duty box trucks, terminal tractors and heavy-duty regional haul,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), which launched the three-week Run in conjunction with RMI on September 11, 2023.

The findings from this Run fell into six broad categories:

  • Small depots are ready for electrification now and electrification at large depots is gaining momentum

  • There have been big improvements in trucks and chargers since Run on Less – Electric in 2021

  • The industry needs cost and weight reductions to improve the total cost of ownership

  • Range can be extended with multiple charges per shift at the depot and en route

  • It’s still taking too long for power delivery and infrastructure to be installed, which is driving portable/temporary charging

  • The diversity, passion and capability of the people involved is helping to scale the adoption of electric trucks

Run on Less - Findings
Run on Less - Findings

There was good news, too, around the performance of the 22 trucks that were part of the study – with some even exceeding expectations. For example, some of the trucks completed 410 miles on a single charge and 1,076 miles in a single 24-hour day, enabled by fast charging at various points during the day.

Run on Less is a test bed for clean technology that has the potential to transform trucking, making it cleaner and more sustainable – and reducing its carbon impact on the planet.

Visit Run on Less to learn more.

The Carbon War Room (CWR) was founded by Richard Branson and a group of like-minded entrepreneurs to help advance the low-carbon economy – it merged into RMI in 2014 and since then, Virgin Unite has proudly supported RMI’s work to transform global energy use.