01 October 2021
Electric vehicle range: Is it enough
for the logistics sector?
(EVs), a subject that has firmly found its way into the media spotlight in
recent years - and it is only growing. The government’s plan to ban the sale of
new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 is in full swing, with industries across
the globe set to be affected – the logistics sector will be no stranger to this
capabilities and benefits have been reiterated as a knock-on result of the fuel
crisis – with BP last week announcing several petrol stations were forced to
close amid HGV driver shortages.
While the crisis is
said to be stabilising, the spotlight has been on EVs and their benefits, with
individuals naturally deliberating further over the benefits of
electric-powered vehicles, which cannot be disputed.
We discuss the rise of
EVs, advantages and considerations of the technology to the logistics sector and
the state of play with regards to UK commercial vehicle trials.
The EV revolution
Impacting upon the world’s
automotive giants, countless manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors have pledged to go fully electric by 2035, if not before.
With both premium and
household vehicle manufacturers pledging to embrace EV technology, the
revolution is well underway, with many hybrids and EVs already available on the
The impending EV shift will have a significant impact on the logistics
sector, with plenty for this industry to consider as the EV revolution is sure
to take hold. We discuss EV advantages and considerations in more detail below.
The benefits of EVs for the logistics
The shift to electric-powered
fleets brings with it a host of advantages to the logistics industry, such as:
- No fuel,
/ less breakdowns due to fewer components subject to wear and tear
savings in hybrid vehicles
countries may also offer the following benefits:
benefits and free tolls
Considerations for the logistics
Despite the rise in
the manufacturing and commercialisation of electric vehicles, the supply chain
remains presented with several challenges that will need to be addressed by
logistics companies and governments alike, such as:
performance – Lower speeds
will be achieved in EVs compared to their internal combustion engine
counterparts, which may affect delivery times, route planning and customer
delays - Lower energy density
of batteries compared to traditional fuel – which could cause delays for the
times and productivity – Increased
battery recharge time (six – eight hours approximately) compared to fast fill
of petrol/diesel tanks could impact delivery times and productivity levels.
changes – Changes to
pre-planned routes are likely due to batteries unexpectedly running out.
Safety – The lack of public charger stations located
across the country compared to petrol stations could affect driver safety and
the security of onboard cargo.
impact – The entire supply
chain will incur a financial impact due to planning, execution, and control
Electric delivery vehicle trials
The logistics sector
has been no stranger to EVs and testing their suitability, with the Mayor of
London and Gnewt Cargo securing funding from Innovate UK to run a commercial
electric vehicle trial. The exercise ran up until the end of December 2019 and
was used to evaluate the performance, impact andcommercial viability of using electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries incentral London.
vehicles make up 30 per cent of all traffic in central London, completing an estimated 281,000 journeys each day. The trial was part of the Mayor of London’s
plans to reduce air pollution and work with freight companies to reduce the
number of lorries on London roads.
Key findings from the
electric vans, with their larger capacity, delivered on average 30 per cent
more parcels per week compared to smaller vehicles, leading to reduced congestion by making fewer trips.
cost to charge trial vans was 75 per cent less than the fuel costs (based on
2019 price data) to run their diesel equivalents.
electric vans by Voltia and Vic-Young used five times less energy per km than
their diesel equivalents.
The full report
findings can be read here.
EVs are set to shake
up the logistics sector on a nationwide and global scale, and their impact on
the supply chain cannot be disputed.
However, the significant
challenges that the sector will be faced with due to the EV shift must be
carefully considered and addressed by logistics companies and governments to mitigate
against threats to productivity, customer service, performance and financial
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