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11 Nov 2021, 13:22
Edgar Meza

German case study shows electric trucks pay off to food retailer

Clean Energy Wire

The electrification of road freight transport is not only already possible in the short term but also promises economic advantages for companies that adopt it, according to a feasibility study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research on behalf of the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), an umbrella organisation for transport sector NGOs. T&E Germany collaborated with several industrial partners in order to create more transparency about the economic efficiency and technical feasibility of e-trucks in business practice. Fraunhofer ISI used the logistics operations of grocery chain REWE Group in northeastern Germany as a practical example for the study. It found that almost 60 percent of the REWE fleet in the region could already be electrified and that, for the remaining 40 percent, switching to e-trucks could be economically advantageous.

“After the evaluation of all 9,500 delivery truck trips to over 540 logistics points, one thing is certain: The currently available ranges of battery trucks are already sufficient enough to manage almost all of the urban deliveries and nearly half of the regional delivery tours analysed in the study with electric trucks, said Patrick Plötz, who headed the feasibility study at Fraunhofer ISI. “With optimized route planning and additional charging, the potential is even greater.” He added, however, that with heavy trucks over 26 tonnes and very long day trips, electrification remained a challenge given today's vehicle range.

New emission regulations for trucks have led to increased efforts to clean up road freight transport. Battery-electric trucks are expected to take over heavy-duty road freight because they are much cheaper to run than other low-emission technologies.

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