VISION CO² FREE CITY LOGISTICS

What is the initial starting point of the project sys2WHEEL? It is the vision of CO2 free city logistics.

City logistic is one of the most polluting segments of the transport sector. Commercial vehicles substantially contribute to CO2 emissions, NOx emissions and particulate matter in large cities.

Moreover, commercial vehicles also contribute to noise by generating a ~2 to 10 times higher noise levels than passenger cars. Hence, they have a significant negative impact on public health not only through the emission of pollutants, but also through the traffic noise. Additionally, operating patterns of the urban freight vehicles (e.g. short trips, high stopping frequency etc.), resulted in ~ 20% of energy consumption of overall road transport[1].

Therefore, policy makers such as the European Commission set the goal of reaching CO2 free city logistics by 2030.

In agreement with this, many European, US and Asian regions and major cities have started to tighten emission targets, and there is a high likelihood of bans on diesel engines. Prediction results have demonstrated that, due to the urban economy growth, urban freight transport is predicted to grow 39% in Europe by 2030 relative to 2006[2] (in ton-kilometres).

These figures clearly demonstrate that city logistics faces severe challenges. Therefore, clean, efficient, high-capacity city logistic is indispensable for the competitiveness, economic growth and job preservation of the Europe.

In this context, electric commercial vehicles  have the potential to be a game-changer for the urban logistics since they can improve air quality, and reduce energy consumption, oil dependency, and noise in cities.

 

Even though, electrified commercial vehicles give a promising solution, mass-use of electrified commercial vehicles is hindered due to:

  • the limited driving range
  • high production costs
  • dropping prices for natural gas and oil.

While affordable, compact and lightweight battery capacity may be a key enabler, breakthrough in the use of electric commercial vehicles cannot be solely achieved by battery development.

Substantial innovation that enables the development and integration of advanced drive train components, time-sensitive networks, and ICT based software solutions are needed in parallel to the improvements in battery systems.

[1] Russo, F., Comi, A., 2012. City Characteristics and Urban Goods Movements: A Way to Environmental Transportation System in a Sustainable City. Procedia – Soc. Behav. Sci. 39, 61–73

[2] Schade, W., Krail, M., 2010. iTREN-2030: Experiences and results for integrated technology, energy, and transport policy assessment – Final Report.