Dutch research on the cost of charging infrastructure for zero-emission zones

In the Netherlands, until 2030, € 625 million in investments is needed for logistics charging infrastructure on private premises (just for logistics companies alone). The logistics sector is facing a significant sustainability challenge. As of 1 January 2025, 30 to 40 Dutch municipalities will introduce zero emission (ZE) zones. At the Climate Summit in Glasgow, the ambition was expressed for the entire truck fleet to be emission-free by 2040.

Impact on the logistics sector

In the case of battery-electric vehicles, this requires the necessary charging infrastructure. However, an overall picture of the costs of charging infrastructure for the Dutch logistics fleet on private premises is absent and is needed to determine whether additional measures are required. A study by NAL aims to provide insight into the costs of charging infrastructure for logistics on private premises and, if stimulation proves necessary, to make recommendations to remove barriers. The report focuses on the short term up to 2030 and provides a perspective toward 2050 to indicate the total tasking.

Representative use cases to determine costs

First, the logistics sector has been mapped out, based on which twelve representative use cases were drawn up with a variation in vehicle category, charging requirement, and vehicle fleet size. The CAPEX (all one-off investments in, among other things, charging stations and grid connection) and OPEX (costs for maintenance, excluding electricity costs) were calculated per use case, after which these costs were extrapolated to the entire logistics fleet in the Netherlands to determine the total costs for charging infrastructure. This concerns the costs for charging infrastructure that the logistics sector must bear to achieve the set climate goals. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was performed on the most impactful assumptions.

In the Netherlands, until 2030, € 625 million in investments is needed for logistics charging infrastructure on private premises (just for logistics companies alone). As a result of the ZE zones, according to the calculation, in 2030, it is expected that 113,000 electric vans, lightbox trucks, and 8,700 heavy box trucks and trucks will be driving, which will use charging infrastructure on private (company) premises.

The NAL study looked at 8 to 12% of the vehicles that may need to be in the zero-emission zones. The cost of charging infrastructure will soon rise by a factor of 4 or 5: 2 to 3 billion by 2030.

This leads to one-off investments for the logistics sector of approximately € 625 million, mainly for purchasing the charging infrastructure and civil works and installation. The operational costs for the charging infrastructure amount to € 1.1 billion in 10 years. This is mainly in the maintenance and repair of the charging infrastructure and, for fast chargers, insurance costs.

Every entrepreneur who charges on their site will be faced with these costs. With an average of € 33,500, the CAPEX per vehicle is the highest for heavy box trucks (> 7.5 tons) and trucks (compared to vans, where the investment is € 2,930 per vehicle).

A look ahead to 2050 shows that, in that case, an investment of € 5.2 billion will be required for the charging infrastructure, with associated operational costs of an estimated € 7.8 billion. These figures should be treated with caution, as the expectation is that the technology and thus costs and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) will develop positively.

The study looked only at the logistics sector. Not the delivery vans that operate in the construction, installation, and service sectors, nor companies that supply their customers with their own transport. The Dutch logistics fleet comprises 991,000 N1 vehicles (vans), 66,376 N2 vehicles, and 77,848 N3 vehicles (N2 and N3 are trucks).

A reasonable share of charging infrastructure costs in TCO

For an entrepreneur, the costs for charging infrastructure come on top of the additional costs of an electric vehicle. From a TCO perspective, the CAPEX of charging infrastructure contributes 20-30% to the total additional costs of the decision to switch to an electric vehicle. However, this does not alter the fact that a high initial investment and annual costs for the operation of the charging infrastructure can be a barrier for an entrepreneur to switch to electric vehicles. Investigate the funding and financing needs of entrepreneurs.

In line with the results, a recommendation is made to explore the extent to which financing or funding the purchase of charging infrastructure creates a barrier for entrepreneurs to electrify their fleets. If it turns out that there is an unprofitable top (funding task), then one could consider expanding the AanZET or SEBA scheme or tax benefit via the MIA\Vamil. On the other hand, if the investment size is a problem (financing task), an investment fund, guarantee, or loan can support entrepreneurs.

Explore optimal utilization and allocation of grid connection costs

In none of the use cases, the capacity of the grid connection is fully utilized, while proper utilization has a cost-reducing effect. Therefore, NAL recommends researching alternatives that ensure optimum use of the grid connection. This could include a ‘socket on land’ at business parks, the distribution of residual capacity ‘behind the meter,’ or the realization of collective charging solutions for fast charging.

An additional recommendation is to investigate the allocation of the grid connection costs further. At 40 years, its lifespan is considerably longer than the 10-year time horizon of charging infrastructure. Moreover, co-financing by others in the grid connection, for example, the location owner, can reduce costs for entrepreneurs.

Source: NAL

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