Researchers from Center for Transportation and Logistics at MIT have conducted a new study on a fleet of electric-powered delivery trucks. The study shows that such vehicles are environment- friendly and also provide economic benefits to business.
When compared to delivery trucks with diesel engines, use of electric vehicles can lower the operational cost of a fleet in a range of 9% to 12%.
Researchers have used data gathered by ISO New England, a nonprofit organization, and Staples, a global supplier of office products. The data have been used to model the costs for a fleet comprising of 250 delivery trucks. The study has been conducted using three types of motors: conventional diesel engines, hybrid gas-electric engines and purely electric engines. It is found that purely electric trucks achieved 0.8 kWh per mile, while hybrid trucks averaged 11.56 miles per gallon and conventional diesel trucks averaged 10.14 miles per gallon. At present, Staples owns 53 electric-only trucks that are manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles.
In addition, the researchers have examined the fleets of electric trucks as a part of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems. They found that companies could earn approximately 900 to 1400$ per truck annually in V2G revenues. This signifies a decrease of vehicle operating costs from 7 to 11 %. Thus, electric trucks will help to save money in terms of fuel and maintenance, as they allow less damage on brakes. Jarrod Goentzel, Director of CTL’s Renewable Energy Delivery Project and one of the co-authors of the new study, accepts one limitation of the model that it is applicable for urban trucks and not for rural or interstate deliveries.