Dutch Vos Logistics presented a white paper about the electrification of home deliveries. Vos Logistics – committed to driving clean and efficient transport solutions – has taken on this challenge too. Student Willem Goudriaan studied the technical and economic feasibility of zero-emission home deliveries from Vos Logistics.
The operational feasibility was determined by analyzing two variables in the current truck fleet – mileage and payload – and comparing them to the capabilities of available electric box trucks. In this case, Vos Logistics uses the DAF LF electric model as a reference. This vehicle has an effective range of 254 km and a payload capacity of 11.7 tons. Data analysis shows that day-to-day operations can be performed by electric trucks. However, a minimal number of trips in the data set would push the electric truck to its limits in terms of mileage, which is generally considered detrimental for the battery. Therefore, a safety margin is recommended when planning trips so that the battery is never fully discharged.
Technical feasibility is not just determined by operational feasibility because electric truck technology introduces a new potential barrier in charging the batteries. Since distribution centers generally do not require a large electricity capacity, the contracted ‘peak power’ in the energy contract is selected accordingly. This could pose a problem since charging a single electric truck – let alone an entire fleet – could double a building’s peak power requirements. Therefore, it is vital to determine the amount of power that remains available at any given moment, and that can be used to charge electric trucks. This also means considering the building’s own electricity production (e.g., PV system) since this could be used alongside electricity from the grid – essentially increasing the bandwidth that could be used by the trucks.
To determine the economic feasibility of EV, a total cost of ownership (TCO) model was made for an electric truck and a diesel truck. The conclusion is that an electric truck is still more expensive than a diesel truck, even with financial incentives from the government. However, the gap is not very large (15% more TCO), and there are subsidies available for the government to close the gap between diesel and electric trucks.
The roadmap to electrification
Vos Logistics runs a fleet of 400 distribution vehicles. What is needed to make them electric:
- a variety of electric truck offerings in different configurations.
- onsite charging infrastructure, as well as fast charging points en route.
- charging solutions during loading and unloading of the truck and during driver rest times to minimize the downtime.
Source: Vos Logistics