Research: how economical are e-trucks?

In a research project, scientists at fulda university of applied sciences are investigating the use of trucks with electric motors in delivery traffic. Research is to be conducted into the conditions under which the use of e-trucks with a total weight of up to 18 tons is economical for freight forwarders. Transport companies were said to contribute to less air pollution especially when the use of e-trucks was financially profitable compared to conventional vehicles.

In view of the growing trade on internet platforms and the increasing delivery traffic, the use of e-trucks appears to the experts to be all the more urgent. Above all, delivery traffic weighing 30 kilograms or more is increasing because more and more people are ordering furniture and electrical appliances online. The consequences are: increased CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions, more particulate matter, and more noise. E-trucks should contribute to better air quality in city centers.

Project leader and logistics expert boris zimmermann, a professor at fulda university of applied sciences, explained: "E-trucks emit about 25 percent less CO2, no nitrogen oxides, no particulate matter and also cause significantly less noise. But so far there is no practical calculation basis for the use of heavy e-trucks in the stucco market."In hesse, 3000 trucks with a total weight of up to 18 metric tons are used in distribution and dry bulk transport.

The potential of e-trucks is now to be tested in practice over a period of 24 months. This is intended to continuously improve the economic efficiency of the vehicles. The project results should be available by the end of 2018. Then, with the help of a calculation scheme developed in the study, trucking companies should be able to roughly calculate – even without field testing – whether e-trucks are a good option for their fleets.

Hesse’s economics minister tarek al-wazir (grune) learned about the project in fulda on wednesday. "Inner-city delivery traffic in particular, with its fixed routes of predictable length, lends itself to e-commercial vehicles. But this potential has hardly been considered so far. This is why the project of fulda university of applied sciences is so exciting."The country is calling for the project with around 295.000 euros. Experts from the fields of electrical engineering and information technology are involved in the project. Hesse is currently striving to boost electromobility. The black-green state government plans to invest 2.3 million euros for this purpose in the coming year, and a total of 1.5 million euros in 2016.

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