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How Much Electricity Does a Food Truck Use?

Note that the exact wattage of electricity a food truck uses will vary depending on factors like the services it offers, the equipment it contains, as well as the size of the truck.

However, food trucks are known to utilize around 4,000 to 6,000 watts of electricity to efficiently carry on their daily culinary services. Electricity is very critical to power things like truck air conditioning, fryers, grills, lights, and even microwaves.

Owing to that, the amount of electricity needed will vary and will depend on certain components of the truck. Food trucks have grown in popularity in recent years, and most of them tend to leverage an onboard diesel generator to meet electrical needs.

Most often, these generators are strapped to the back of the truck and are used to power appliances necessary for the truck’s activities. They are mostly diesel-powered and could generate around 7 kW.

Food trucks need around 6000W to power all their onboard equipment. While that is a good benchmark to consider, it is recommended that you evaluate your food truck’s electricity needs to ensure you get the right generator to power your appliances.

To determine the right wattage of any appliance in your food truck, multiply its voltage by its current. These details most often are found somewhere on the equipment itself, sometimes very close to the serial number. Howbeit, if your equipment is plugged into a normal household outlet you can assume it uses 120V.

To find out the wattage of each piece of equipment or appliance, multiply the voltage and the current. For instance, a microwave can plug into a 120V outlet and require 10 Amps of current. Using the method noted above, the amount of electricity the microwave uses will be 1200 wattages.

As long as you can get the wattage used by each appliance in your food truck, you can sum them all up to find out the amount of electricity your food truck uses.

How to Calculate Electricity Requirements for Your Food Truck

  1. Outline every electrical equipment and their wattage

This is the first thing to do if you are looking to calculate the electricity requirements of your food truck. Ensure to list out every appliance or equipment in your truck including your microwaves, coffee makers, grills, computers, POS systems, fridge, ovens, blenders, and air conditioner. To identify the electricity needs of each of these appliances, multiply their voltage by the current.

  1. Sum up the wattage

As long as you can get the wattage used by all appliances in your food truck, you can sum them up to find out the amount of electricity your food truck uses. To do this, you can use the following formula:

Total Wattage = Power Requirement of Each Item x Quantity of Each Item

For instance, if you have three grills that each require 250 watts and 2 ovens that require 500 watts, the total wattage needed would be:

Total Wattage = (250 watts x 3) + (1000 watts x 2) = 2750 watts

  1. Consider using an online wattage calculator

You can leverage numerous online wattage calculators to easily come up with those figures. These calculators work by giving you the space to key in the wattage ratings of your appliances and estimate how many will be running at the same time.

Afterward, it will provide you with a good estimate of the total amount of electricity your truck uses or will need for the equipment. Don’t forget to take into consideration the starting and running wattage of your appliances when using a wattage calculator to ensure that you obtain the right figure.

Examples of Basic Food Truck Appliances and Their Electricity Needs

Just as was stated above, the exact wattage of electricity a food truck uses will vary based on the appliances it contains. To make the calculation process easier, here are examples of basic food truck appliances and their electricity needs:

  • Microwaves: 1000-1500 watts
  • Grills: 1000-3000 watts
  • Refrigerators: 400-800 watts
  • Freezers: 800-1200 watts
  • Coffee makers: 800-1500 watts
  • Blenders: 300-800 watts
  • POS systems: 200-400 watts
  • Ovens: 1500-3000 watts
  • Fryers: 2000-5000 watts
  • Lighting: 50-200 watts

Don’t forget that most of these appliances tend to have higher electricity needs during startup or peak usage. Owing to that, it is imperative to take this into consideration when calculating the electricity needs of your truck.


As long as you can get the wattage used by every appliance in your food truck, you can sum them up to find the amount of electricity your food truck uses. This will ensure you get the right size of the generator.

If you’re still not certain of the exact generator to choose, speak with a professional or experienced generator supplier who can make valid suggestions for you to pick from. Always remember that a reliable source of electricity is a necessary investment for your food truck business.