Electric and sustainable transport: the state of affairs

Tue | 10 Aug 2021 | Simacan Solutions

Electric and sustainable transport: the state of affairs

Electric trucks: for road transport, we are at the beginning of the transition to electric freight transport and thus to the transition to zero emission. In addition to the availability and affordability of vehicles, certainty about a reliable charging infrastructure is a prerequisite for kick-starting this transition. The big question is how many years from now we'll see electric trucks on the road in large numbers. In other words: what does the (near) future of electric freight transport look like?

Studies by various parties, including the environmental organisation Natuur & Milieu, have shown that, from around 2023 onwards, electric trucks will have the opportunity to compete with fossil fuel-powered transport. The growth rate of electric transport also depends on government policy. The government has announced measures to support the sustainability of the logistics sector. 

It is advisable for governments and market parties to also prepare for the transition to electric trucks and the related need for charging. In this way, they can prevent a lack of charging infrastructure from slowing down the transition to electric transport.

Development of electric freight transport

In a report on the development of electric freight transport (in Dutch), ING notes that in the coming years electric trucks will be used mainly for distribution in and around large cities. Even when the vehicles are profitable in around 2030, they will not have the range required for full national or international road transport, the bank thinks. And that is one of the main limitations of such vehicles, due to battery capacity and the availability of charging infrastructure. Supermarkets that are already using electric trucks achieve a maximum range of 100 kilometres, enough to supply supermarkets in the vicinity of the distribution centre. More distant locations are supplied by fossil fuel trucks.

Transition to zero emissions

It is clear that we are at the beginning of the transition to zero emissions for road transport. The Climate Agreement has set the ambition of supplying at least 30 Dutch cities with zero emissions by 2025. There is still a transitional phase until 2030, but in 2030 "zero emission" will be compulsory for all trucks. And one of the solutions to help reduce the negative environmental impact of urban freight transport is the use of vehicles that cause less air pollution, such as electric trucks. 

According to recent study results, funded under the "Electric Mobility in Europe" programme, a longer distance between the warehouse and the delivery points will not increase the energy consumption of an electric vehicle, as opposed to the number of stops. The results of the study indicate a great potential of electric vehicles and the usefulness of electromobility in last-mile deliveries. The most important parameter to take into account when planning the routes of electric goods vehicles is the number of deliveries per vehicle. This shows that the energy consumption of the electric truck, as reported by manufacturers, is not a reliable indicator of its suitability for urban distribution.

Stops electric trucks

Collaboration and data are the keywords when looking for solutions for a sustainable and safe (city) distribution, also for you with Simacan. For its clients, including shippers and carriers, Simacan provides accurate arrival times every minute for hundreds of thousands of delivery locations en route. The Simacan Control Tower registers and presents the transport performance from departure to arrival with all intermediate stops in a well-organised manner. In the Control Tower, transport companies with electric vehicles, trucks and delivery vans can see at a glance how much battery charge capacity a vehicle still has en route. 

Energy consumption and savings in Control Tower

In addition, Simacan in cooperation with Viricity has developed a tool that predicts the energy consumption and savings of electric vehicles per route. The 'EV Fleet Analyzer' predicts the energy consumption and savings per route of electric vehicles based on road segmentation and vehicle data. In this way it is possible to very accurately predict whether a route that has not been driven before can be driven electrically. ViriCiti and Simacan want to contribute to increasing the use of electric vehicles. Simacan has included this tool in its 'Control Tower'. 

Would you like to know more? Please contact us for more information and the possibilities.

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