MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics researchers have conducted a new study on a fleet of electric-drive delivery trucks. The results show that using electric vehicles on a large scale are not only environmentally friendly, but also provide economic benefits to your business!
A company looking to buy an electric-powered delivery truck might experience some sticker shock—such vehicles cost around $150,000, compared to $50,000 for an internal-combustion engine truck. But keep in mind this is a purchase that should pay for itself in the long run!
“There has to be a good business case if there is going to be more adoption of electric vehicles,” says Jarrod Goentzel, director of the Renewable Energy Delivery Project at CTL and one of the co-authors of the new study. “We think it’s already a viable economic model, and as battery costs continue to drop, the case will only get better.”
Compared to the conventional diesel-engine deliver trucks, electric vehicles can lower operational costs of a fleet used to make daily deliveries in urban areas anywhere from 9% to 12%. The researchers used data from ISO New England, a nonprofit organization that runs New England’s electric power grid, and Staples, an international supplier of office products. The researchers used the data to model the costs of a delivery truck fleet with 250 vehicles. Three types of motors: diesel engines, hybrid gas-electric engines, and purely electric engines were analyzed fleet use in the study. Purely electric trucks achieved 0.8 kWh per mile, they hybrid trucks averaged 11.56 miles per gallon, and diesel engines averaged 10.14 miles per gallon.
The researchers also examined electric truck fleets as part of a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) system that would allow their batteries to be plugged into the electric grid for 12 hours overnight as an additional resource for providing electricity to consumers. In this scenario, the truck owners would be paid by utility firms for the electricity they provide. The results showed that companies could earn about $900 to $1,400 per truck per year in vehicle-to-grid revenues, translating to a drop in operating costs ranging from 7% to 11%. To put it simply, this means the electric truck will help save money in terms of fuel and maintenance, since they induce less damage on brakes.
To sum it up: operational costs per mile (the basic metric used by fleet managers) would drop from 75 cents to 68 cents per mile when V2G-enabled electric trucks are used instead of gas-engine trucks. I guess you could say using electric trucks for delivery fleets makes ‘cents’!
Published in Fleets
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