Commercial electric vehicles in logistics networks: a profitable niche market?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


While Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) struggle to start in the passenger vehicles market, the logistics chains show an appropriate environment to adopt them. However, the industry is known to be too focused on the high purchase costs of BEVs and does not consider every cost affecting the choice of a vehicle. Hence, a clear competitiveness analysis of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) is needed. We developed a total cost of ownership (TCO) model for LCVs in the Brussels-Capital Region and collected the costs for 8 BEVs and 7 conventional vehicles. The paper presents the results of the TCO and a sensitivity analysis of the model.
The BEVs were found to be competitive with conventional vehicles in the category of the quadricycles and the LCVs with a payload lower than 1,000kg: five out of six BEVs had a cost lower than the conventional vehicles of their category. The situation is inverted for the BEVs with a payload above 1,000kg where the costs are always higher than the conventional vehicles because of the expensive purchase and battery costs. Since BEVs were identified to be already today more competitive than conventional vehicles for the small LCVs, there is a potential niche market to be developed in logistics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEEVC 2012, European Electric Vehicle Congress, Brussels, Belgium
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2012
EventEuropean Electric Vehicle Congress 2012 - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 19 Nov 201222 Nov 2012


ConferenceEuropean Electric Vehicle Congress 2012
Abbreviated titleEEVC 2012


  • Battery electric vehicles
  • light commercial vehicles
  • Total cost of ownership
  • competitiveness analysis

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