Environmental and economic comparison of diesel and battery electric delivery vans to inform city logistics fleet replacement strategies

Poor air quality in urban areas and environmental concerns attributable to road transportation are growing and significant problems for governments. Many different options have been proposed to lower emissions, and a critical one is the use of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).Since city-logistics accounts for about 25% of urban mobility emissions, the authors focus on battery electric and diesel delivery vans. The aim of this paper is to present a holistic view of the problem, comparing the environmental, social and economic impact of BEV and diesel delivery vans, providing useful insights to policy makers and fleet owners willing to replace or select delivery vans to include in their city-logistics fleets.In cities where new BEV vans replace old diesel vans and the electricity mix is relatively clean, CO₂ emissions and air pollutants decrease by 93–98% and 85–99%, respectively. If BEVs use electricity coming from coal energy and are compared to new diesel vans, reductions of CO₂ emissions and air pollutants are in the order of 12–13% and 0–92%, respectively. Longer battery life and greater annual mileage improve these results and decrease cost differences. Results also reveal that annual emissions benefits of replacing older diesel vans with BEVs are on the same order of magnitude of equivalent annual cost differences.From a strictly business perspective, BEV vans are already economically attractive in some cities with existing incentives; however, for other cities incentives equal to the value of their emissions reduction benefits are needed, but might not be sufficient to justify BEV acquisition.


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  • Accession Number: 01684120
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2018 3:15PM