Policies in Germany to support electric vehicles mostly focus on urban road passenger transport. However, road freight vehicles are a main source of air pollutants and noise emissions in cities. Available vehicle types, tour planning and purchase decisions in urban road freight transport differ from the passenger transport segment. The political and scientific literature lacks a comprehensive discussion of specific policy measures to support electric urban road freight vehicles.
A new research paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge, by undertaking a multi-criteria analysis of policy measures to support battery electric freight vehicles based on the rating by two stakeholder groups; policymakers and freight electric vehicle users. These stakeholders rate 23 policy measures as suggested in the literature or which are implemented in European countries.
In comparing and ranking the rating results of the groups, we find that the dis-cordance between the groups can be large and offers noticeable insight and room for future research and practice.
Although financial support of electric vehicles is often named in the literature as the primary measure to overcome the total cost of ownership gap of freight electric vehicles, this study shows that the effect of special legal measures and supporting the setup of company-charging infrastructure are underestimated by the policymakers.
Recommendable policy options – beyond several fiscal measures – are to request emission-free vehicles in municipal tenders, to allow drivers with a class B license to drive freight EVs over 3.5 tons, or to implement a city toll on the long-term. The practicability of other policy measures depends on the local implementation goals of the municipality. Hence, a transparent debate on the aim of supporting electric freight mobility is as necessary as choosing measures targeted at the freight transportation segment.
Source: Taefi, T. T., Kreutzfeldt, J., Held, T., & Fink, A. (2016). Supporting the adoption of electric vehicles in urban road freight transport–A multi-criteria analysis of policy measures in Germany. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 91, 61-79.