Electric truck fleet:
field test and optimising charging infrastructure investment with power demand on MEGAWATT scale

In the area of heavy goods vehicles, the transition from diesel-powered fleets to electric fleets confronts logistics operators with one of the most critical challenges of the last 50 years. Up to now there is insufficient information available, neither from practical experience nor from scientific literature, on how this transition can be managed optimally.

Thus, the core goal of the MEGAWATT-LOGISTICS project is meeting the logistical challenges of converting a conventional diesel freight fleet into an electric freight fleet. The project is based on operating experience with five 18-26 tonnes electric trucks in different use cases. Energy consumption data will be gathered from real-life driving tests and the seasonal dependence of vehicle range and performance will be analysed. The optimal investment in grid and charging infrastructure will be investigated, and optimal routing and charging strategies will be developed to reduce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) per kilometre. This will pave the way for economically sustainable investment and business models for zero-emission freight logistics.

It is expected that electric freight fleets will become more profitable than traditional, fossil fuel powered freight fleets at some point in the near future due to their lower operating costs. However, currently investments into electric freight fleets and the conversion phase are tied to high financial risk of stranded investment.

The major goals of this project include:

  • Execution of a long term real driving test with five electric trucks with 18-26 tonnes of maximum admissible total weight in five different use cases. The field test also serves as operational validation of the developed models.

  • Creation of an extendable e-logistics database, assessment of key performance indicators of e-logistics subsystems for each use case - up to now, no data on e-logistics is available.

  • Development of an investment planning tool and TCO optimisation tools for electric truck fleets and charging infrastructure on megawatt scale – building charging infrastructure for electric freight fleets is tied to massive financial investments that require reliable decision-making tools, which are currently unavailable. The investment planning tool should save 10-15% of the total investment cost in comparison to a strategy without targeted optimisation.

  • Development of new business models for electric utility companies and logistics operators – logistics operators present a new client base for electric utility companies and logistics operators themselves will develop business models for zero-emission logistics services.

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 300 tonnes of CO2-equivalent in total during the project.

  • We expect to ascertain the viability of electric freight fleets for different use cases and develop charging and investment strategies that maximize the commercial potential of electric trucks in the course of the proposed project.

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