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EV light freight vehicles well suited for last-mile delivery according to NSR city action plans03. September 2014
Electric freight vehicles are an appropriate means for small scale freight transport over shorter distances in urban areas. This is the main conclusion of three action plans produced by Delft University of Technology for the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences for the city of Hamburg, Germany and FDT – The Association of Danish Transport and Logistics Centres for Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen.
Electric freight vehicles are particularly suitable in an urban distribution system, in which goods are gathered at logistic centres outside the city centre from where they are bundled and distributed further by electric vehicles to various destinations in inner urban areas. The so-called “last mile deliveries” types of goods transport are well suited for the use of electric vehicles as trips are often recurring and planned ahead and the functionality of the electric vehicles, including benefits like low emissions, silent driving, good acceleration, manoeuverability and easiness to use. All of these characteristics point towards opportunities which can be seized by companies performing last mile deliveries.
All three action plans come to the same conclusion that policy measures, such as granting direct financial subsidies to transport companies and operators, may be successful in the short term, but hard to sustain on the long term. On a long term basis, in-direct support in form of access restrictions, emission zones, urban consolidation centres and night distribution schemes, supported by updates in associated regulations, stand a higher chance of being successful means for further introducing freight electric vehicles and making it less attractive to use vehicles with internal combustion engine.
Another recommendation of the action plans suggests that municipalities may make better use of their agenda setting role: Whereas it may not be cost efficient to replace the municipal fleet at once with EVs, the municipality could still use its influence, not as a policy-maker, but as a large organization, to stimulate clean mobility by pushing the demand for clean urban freight solutions. Municipalities could here consider procurement schemes which favour companies which offer low emission goods transport for municipal freight requests.
The three action plans have been developed as part of E-Mobility NSR Work Package 7 “Promoting Efficient and Effective Urban Freight Logistics Solutions in Enhancing Regional Accessibility” and can be downloaded below or found in the info pool section on our project website: