Although it is commonly believed that EVs are suited to perform last mile deliveries in particular in urban areas, only some companies make use of electric delivery vehicles. Up to now, electric vehicles have been considered as perfect substitutes of conventional vehicles. But there are problems which still need to be solved: difficulties to deal with the inter-day variability of tour-lengths, problems to integrate EVs into existing fleets and working forces, and missing own and reported experiences. The potential for EVs is much greater, once logistics concepts and the usage of EVs are optimised jointly taking into account the particularities of different spatial areas. EVs, integrated into mixed fleets, could be used in urban areas, while traditional vehicles could operate in surrounding areas. Alternatively, the use of micro-distribution centres in connection with urban distribution could be imagined.
To apply such adaptations, all actors must be well connected and have sufficient information. Projects in the field of electric mobility in commercial transport have shown that there is a lack of information for decision makers and fleet managers concerning technical possibilities and costs of EVs.
The EUFAL project sets up a platform for exchange which will allow companies to handle the implementation of EVs in mixed fleets and multi-level distribution concepts. This will be demonstrated in different environments, especially where low noise emission vehicles are needed. Differentiated concepts for zones with micro distribution will also be taken into account.
The DLR-Institute of Transport Research assumes the following core tasks in the project:
The project EUFAL (Electric urban freight and logistics) aims at providing a platform of exchange as decision support system for companies willing to integrate electric vehicles (EV) in commercial vehicle fleets. The platform of exchange will provide tools for companies at different stages of EV implementation – early planning of EV use, implementation of EV use, optimisation of the EV implementation. Integrating project partners from Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland and Turkey, the project will contribute to the transfer of knowledge on electric mobility between stakeholders and countries.
The project will address experienced EV users as well as developers of EV business models. Developed tools for the platform of exchange will include the next stage development of the routes optimisation platform DYNATOP. It will showcase a multi-purpose city logistics system which is both economically and environmentally sustainable based on the use of EVs supported by ICT optimisation tools. The project will analyse the status of EV implementation in cities based on examples. Environmental impacts of EVs in city deliveries and expectations for battery charging infrastructure development will be analysed. We will describe challenges faced by involved actors. Use patterns of corporate fleets will be analysed and EV potentials identified. National framework and business environment for EV deployment in urban commercial transport will be assessed.
EUFAL will support companies with information for EV implementations at the best level possible. The project will demonstrate of use of the platform of exchange, and the integrated tools provided, by selected EV implementations in all participating countries. The aim is to have demonstrations of commercial EV fleets at different levels of development. Learnings from the EV implementations will help to improve the platform of exchange as well as the tools provided.
January 2018 – June 2020