Today, different measures are investigated to solve the challenge of a sustainable urban freight transport. Among them, electric vehicles are often viewed as an interesting solution but the purchase cost of these vehicles is commonly seen as a barrier to their adoption. However the different cost structure between electric and conventional vehicles makes an analysis of every cost particularly needed if fleet managers want to assess the real competitiveness of the vehicles. As a result, we developed a total cost of ownership model to assess the competitiveness of light commercial vehicles in the Brussels-Capital Region. This paper presents the results of the total cost of ownership analysis on 8 battery electric vehicles, 5 diesel vehicles and 2 petrol vehicles. The results of a sensitivity analysis of the model are also presented. The electric vehicles were found to be competitive with conventional vehicles in the category of the quadricycles and the light commercial vehicles with a payload lower than 1,000kg: five out of six battery electric vehicles had a cost lower than the conventional vehicles of their category. The situation is inverted for the battery electric vehicles with a payload above 1,000kg where the costs are always higher than the conventional vehicles because of the expensive purchase and battery costs. Since battery electric vehicles are found to be a viable solution for some parts of the logistics, the next challenge should be to convince the fleet managers of the benefits of battery electric vehicles.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited