European Research Projects and Papers
Nowadays, a number of city logistic activities and projects involve modifying freight vehicles, including alternative fuels such as electric vehicles [Thompson 2015]. Development of electric freight vehicles in city logistics is one of the most important options for implementation of sustainable goods deliveries. This measure could reduce significantly the environmental impact of urban freight transport. Especially, considering local pollutions, like CO, NOx, SOx, PM, etc. Moreover, thanks to the low level of noise, this measure could be connected with the other city logistics measures, like night deliveries. These issues are analysed from the beginning of present century or even earlier.
One of the first successes in terms of EV implementation in city logistics is described in [Taniguchi 2000]. It pertained to using EFVs within a cooperative framework for the purposes of urban freight transport, wherein its main idea was to establish EFVs based depot in the centre of Osaka and enable their use by multiple distribution companies. The project involved 28 electric freight vehicles, and 79 companies volunteered to participate in the undertaking. As a result of the system implementation, the number of kilometres covered was reduced, which led to a decrease in congestion. Another implementation involved a 3-year project described in [Markowitz and Duvall 2007] that was mainly aimed at long-term measurements of fuel and energy consumption, travel range when using an electric motor, driveability, lithium-ion battery capacity and durability. A van prototype was proposed, equipped with a parallel architecture of hybrid drive based on 5-cylinder 2.7 l diesel engine. The electric drive system was based on a permanent magnet 90 kW motor and 15 kWh lithium-ions (Li-Ion) battery. Another attempt at developing a modular structure of electric light trucks or vans (ELTVs) was the OPTIBODY project described in [Del Pozo De Dios 2013]. This time, the new architecture was to contribute to improve the passive vehicle safety, in order to reduce the number of fatal accidents and injuries.
Electromobility in City Logistics - European Projects and Actions
One of the first research projects in Europe focusing on utilisation of EVs in city logistics was the ELCIDIS project – Electric Vehicle City Distribution [Vermie 2002]. In recent years, many other initiatives of this kind have been implemented, such as:
- EVD Post (Electric vehicles deliveries in postal services), time period: 1998-2000 – demonstration of implementation of electric vehicles in the postal services in Germany, Finland, Sweden, France and Belgium; https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/TR.-00140-97
- ELCIDIS (Electric Vehicles City distribution systems), time period: 1998-2002 – implementation in some European cities: Rotterdam, Stockholm (large electric vans with payload of 1000-1500 kg and hybrid electric trucks with payload of max. 11 tonnes; La Rochelle (EVs with a payload of approximately 500 kg); Stavanger, Milan and Erlangen (hybrid EVs for in-house goods and mail distribution for companies); https://www.elcidis.org/project.htm
- CIVITAS – Cleaner and better transport in cities, time period: 2002-2016 – under this programme some different projects focused on some topics related to EFVs utilisation have been completed, such as: TRENDSETTER: Deployment of EVs for the department store in Graz (Austria); VIVALDI: Bristol logistics platform demonstrator, using Smith EVs operated by DHL (UK); TELLUS: Demonstration of EVs in Rotterdam (the NL); RENAISSANCE: Usage of 2 Smith EVs for the Urban freight Logistics in Bath (UK); MODERN: Utilisation of freight EVs in Brescia (IT); MIMOSA: Running up Cargohopper; DYN@MO: 'Mobility 2.0' systems and services, electric mobility solutions, using new electric and hybrid vehicles for mobility planning; https://civitas.eu/
- CO2NeuTrAlp – CO2 –Neutral Transport for the Alpine Space, time period: 2009-2012 – Inteporto: tested 1 EV that includes refrigerated units for perishable goods distribution; https://www.eltis.org/discover/news/co2neutralp-concludes-0
- TURBLOG (Transferability of urban logistics concepts and practice from a worldwide perspective), time period: 2010-2013 – total of 9 cases were developed: 2 in the EU focused on two different approaches: 1 French and 1 Dutch; 3 covering Latin America: 1 Brazilian, 1 Peruvian, and 1 Mexican; 1 case in China; 3 cases in other parts of the world: 1 Japanese, 1 from the USA, and 1 from India; https://trimis.ec.europa.eu/project/transferability-urban-logistics-concepts-and-practices-world-wide-perspective
- ENCLOSE (Energy efficiency in City Logistics Services for small and mid-sized European Historic Towns), time period: 2012-2015 – the ENCLOSE project will support the development of Sustainable Urban Logistic Plans in 9 SMHT involving partners from 13 European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK; http://www.enclose.eu/content.php?p=1
- SMARTFUSION (Smart Urban Freight Solutions), time period: 2012-2015 – testing of EV and HV for distribution of perishable goods; testing of EV equipped with metering devices; https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/285195
- SELECT (Suitable electromobility for commercial transport), time period: 2012-2015 – empirical research trials of EVs in Austria, Denmark and Germany based on detailed surveys and questionnaires in different companies and sectors; https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/257544/pl
- GridMotion launched in 2017 by a consortium of companies: The PSA Group, Direct Energie, Enel, Nuvve, Proxiserve and the Danish University of Technology, time period: two years – stabilishing the power grid and building a model of society efficiently managing energy; https://media.groupe-psa.com/en/gridmotion-project-reducing-electric-vehicle-usage-cost-thanks-smart-charging-process
- Sustainable Porto Santo (Portugal), time period: 2018-2020 – the partners of the project want accelerate the energy system transformation and reduce CO2 emissions on the island as much as possible. Main stakeholders are from Portugal, other are form France, Germany and Switzerland; https://www.se.com/ww/en/work/products/medium-voltage-switchgear-and-energy-automation/news/2019/porto-santo.jsp
- Low Carbon Logistics, time period: 2017-2019 – the activities were implemented in the 5 South Baltic regions (0Iofstrćim, Rietavas, Bad Doberan, Stargard and Neringa) to present good practice examples for smarter and more environmentally friendly transport services. This included the following steps: analysis of initial situation, concept development, breakdown of the concept to the specific regional needs, elaboration of one action plan per region/institution, and start of the implementation process; https://lcl-project.eu/
- SULPITER, time period: 2014-2020 – the project has enhanced their capacity in urban freight mobility planning in order to develop and adopt sustainable urban logistics plans (SULPs). Policy makers in Bologna, Budapest, Poznan, Brescia, Stuttgart, Maribor and Rijeka have worked together with further local, regional and national non-partner authorities and with technical partners. They have focused on transnational policy capacity building, and on the development of transnational analytical and governance tools, resulting in improved and adopted policies for the future energy and environmental sustainability of freight transport in central European FUAs; https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/SULPiTER.html
Thanks to projects mentioned above as well as the other experimental works realized around the world, more and more effective measures have started to be implemented in cities in recent years [Vermie 2002, Thompson 2015, Lebeau et al. 206, Quak et al. 2016, Paddeu 2017, Iwan et al. 2018]. These activities helped to analyse the efficiency of the vehicles, availability of the proper conditions for their utilization as well as the expectations regarding business models, low regulations, technological issues and needed local or regional regulations related to the improvement of their utility. However, based on the results of mentioned above works, the costs of purchasing electric vehicles are still perceived to be a substantial barrier to their wide-spread use [Taef et al. 2017]. Additionally, a substantial difficulty lies in selecting vehicles with operation parameters that fulfil the needs of the logistic processes they are to serve. Therefore, the key challenge is optimisation of the transport fleet while taking into account a multi-criteria evaluation of benefits. Although today’s EFVs demonstrate better and better performance parameters (longer travel range, more capacious batteries and more carrying capacity), their actual usability in urban logistics still remains limited. Under the FREVUE project [frevue.eu], some challenges and factors that influence successful implementation of EFVs in everyday logistic operations in a city has been specified [Nesterova 2013]:
- technical performance – from focus on the range to the importance of aftersales,
- operational performance – fine-tuning urban logistics operations to EFVs,
- economics – searching new forms of ownership and successful business models,
- environmental, social and attitudinal impact – confirmation of positive trends,
- local policy and governance structure – to a more integrated city management approach.
The analysis made in the above projects and activities inspired the Authors to connect utilization of EFVs with one of the simplest and well-known city logistics measure – unloading bays. Previous, works were mostly focused on direct analysis of EFVs efficiency and typical charging infrastructure development. However, the Authors asked the question, how can we improve the utilization of EFV by short-time charging process, realized during the delivery realization? Based on this assumption, the major idea and experiments concept has been established.
Electromobility in City Logistics – Research Works and Papers
According to the analysis, more and more scientists are preparing publications concerning new fuel sources and e-mobility. The observed growth is likely to be stimulated by greater eco-awareness. Taking into account the extensiveness of the subject, the following keywords have been selected.
Table 1 Result of keywords analysis in the context of electromobility and utilization of EFVs in city logistics for 2015-2019.
Each of the above keywords has been gaining in popularity over the years. It isn’t hard to notice, that the most popular term is “electric car”. The increase in number of articles concerning it, is about 10-17 percent year-to-year. Another, popular search is “delivery and electric vehicle”, which average increase is over 16 percent. Other keyword are less popular but their increase is constant and solid too (e.g in the case of “delivery and electromobility” almost 44 percent in 2015-2016 and 50 percent in 2017-2018).
Figure 1 The increase of number of the papers related to the electromobility and utilization of EFVs in city logistics for 2015-2020.
In addition, by the June of 2020, there were 33 electromobility publications, 3259 electric cars publications, 697 delivery + electric car publications, 1574 delivery + electric vehicle publications, 479 last mile + electric vehicle publications, 156 BEV, PHEV publications and 20 delivery + electromobility publications (Fig. 2).
Figure 2 Results of keywords analysis in the context of electromobility and utilization of EFVs in city logistics by June 2020.
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