New Publication on the Deployment of Electric Commercial Vehicles in Mid-Haul Logistics Networks

Our recent paper on the deployment of electric commercial vehicles in mid-haul logistics networks has been accepted for publication by the European Journal of Operational Research and is available here.

Abstract: Electric commercial vehicles can contribute significantly to sustainable transportation. However, they are still perceived as being less economically viable than internal combustion engine vehicles. To this end, we analyze the deployment of electric commercial vehicles in retail mid-haul logistics fleets for current and future technology scenarios. We develop a novel assessment methodology that combines total cost of ownership calculations with a rich location-routing model. We consider integrated strategic network design and operational routing decisions over a multi-period time horizon, accounting for mixed fleets of electric and conventional vehicles and battery degradation. To solve this problem, we develop a novel matheuristic that embeds a state-of-the-art metaheuristic to take operational routing decisions. With this framework, we analyze a possible transition towards electrified logistics fleets. Starting with a real-world case, we perform sensitivity analyses based on a technology roadmap and further network structures. We discuss cost structures, the time-dependent nature of investment decisions, operational characteristics, and potential emissions savings. We show that in certain cases an electrification of mid-haul logistics fleets is operationally feasible, economically viable, and provides environmental advantages.