Investigating the Potential of an Electrified Fleet used for Last-mile in Urban Environments A multiple case study at a last-mile delivery company

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Sustainable energy systems (MPSES), MSc
Stadelmann, Fabien
Ivanetti, Klara
The transportation sector, more specifically the road vehicles, accounts for 12% of global carbon emissions, and a large majority of these are due to freight transport. Today the preferred choice of fuel in the sector is diesel which, in addition to the global negative externalities it produces, also emits a lot of local pollution. These types of emissions are heavily apparent in last-mile deliveries, the last stretch of a supply chain entailing the transportation of goods from a transit point to the end customer. Last- mile is seen as one of the most challenging parts of the supply chain as freighters need to consider the complexities of urban environments. The last-mile delivery is an essential part of the supply chain with a lot of potential for sustainable development. A proposed solution being investigated at the present time is the utilisation of electric vehicles to mitigate negative externalities from last-mile deliveries in urban environments. The aim of this paper was to investigate the potential electrification of a last-mile delivery company’s vehicle fleet. A transition from their current fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. The issue was divided into two research questions, the first was to investigate the contributing factors, both internal and external to electrifying a vehicle fleet and the second was to find the potential for the case company to electrify their current routes. The answers to the research questions were found from a multiple case study on the four cities of Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö in Sweden along with Copenhagen in Denmark. This was accompanied by a literature review on relevant subjects, collection and interpretation of historical data of routes from the case company. Lastly, a scenario analysis with the basis in a route optimisation platform was conducted, by investigating the potential of deploying electric vehicles now or in a potential future where necessary infrastructure and policies are in place. The results showed great potential for both electric vehicle types tested. With today’s political climate, a smaller electric vehicle type is preferable for the cases in Sweden while in Denmark a vehicle more similar to the traditional diesel vehicles is plausible. The conclusion of the study was that it is not possible for the case company to attain full-scale electrification of their vehicle fleet without measures from the two countries’ governments and other actors within society. With a need to strengthen the infrastructure required for large-scale electrification of the last-mile delivery industry in both Sweden and Denmark.
Last-mile Delivery , Green Logistics , Electric Freight Vehicles , Micro-hub , Route Optimisation
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