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  • Publication
    Open Access
    Increasing the Mileage of Battery Electric Medium-Duty Vehicles: A Recipe for Competitiveness?
    Taefi, Tessa T.
    Stütz, Sebastian
    Battery electric freight vehicles have the potential to mitigate the local urban road freight transport emissions, but their numbers are still insignificant. Logistics companies often consider electric vehicles as too costly compared to vehicles powered by combustion engines. The current literature suggests that increasing the mileage can maximize the competitiveness of electric freight vehicles. In this manuscript we develop a generic model to determine the cost-optimal balance between a high utilization of electric freight vehicles – which often have low operational costs – and their required expensive battery replacements. Our work relies on empirical findings of the real-world energy consumption from a large German field test with vehicles of 7.5 and 12 tons, respectively. Our results suggest that increasing the range to the technical maximum by intermediate (quick) charging and multi-shift usage is not the most cost-efficient strategy in every case. A low daily mileage is more cost-efficient at high energy prices or consumptions, relative to the diesel prices or consumptions, or if the battery is not safeguarded by a long battery warranty. In practical applications our model may help companies to choose the most suitable electric vehicle for the application purpose, or the optimal trip length from a given set of options. For policymakers, our analysis provides insights on the relevant parameters that may either reduce the cost-gap at lower daily mileages, or increase the utilization of electric urban freight vehicles, in order to abate the negative impact of urban road freight transport on the environment.