National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Developing Markets for Zero-Emission Vehicles in Goods Movement

Project Number

TO-037

Project Summary

This report evaluates the market status and potential freight market penetration of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and near-ZEVs in the medium and heavy duty class within the California market. It evaluates alternative technologies, primarily battery electric, fuel cell, and hybrid technologies, and compares them to existing gasoline, diesel, and natural gas vehicles used in comparable applications. Refueling infrastructure requirements and logistics planning are considered along with vehicle technology.

The report’s primary focus is on intra-urban, as opposed to long haul, deployment scenarios. Intra-urban scenarios produce the greatest potential for reduction of pollutant exposure while minimizing problems associated with the reduced range of some developing vehicle technologies. In California, there are currently 2080 hybrid, 300 medium duty and 40 heavy duty electric vehicles in demonstration or revenue service. There are currently plans to deploy several dozen heavy duty fuel cell vehicles in the near future.

The literature review finds that while there are substantial existing studies providing direct comparisons between light-duty electric and fossil-fueled vehicles during actual operation, heavy-duty electric vehicles (e.g., class 8) have been less well studied. Fuel cell vehicle studies are also very sparse, and are primarily available in the public transit sector for buses. ZEV vehicles are still comparatively more expensive to purchase, though they have much higher fuel efficiency when compared with traditional diesel technology. Due to range restrictions, these vehicles would also require additional attention to routing and refueling, which at present is considered on a case-by-case basis by each company conducting demonstration projects thus has limited comparability.

This project is part of a larger Developing Markets for Zero-Emission Vehicles in Goods Movement project with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

Project Status

Complete

Year

2017

Topic Area

Goods Movement & International Trade

P.I. Name & Address

Professor; Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Technology; Director, METRANS , Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 216
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
giuliano@price.usc.edu

Funding source: Caltrans

Funding amount: $59,004

Start and end dates: 4/25/2017 to 1/31/2018

Link to report: https://ncst.ucdavis.edu/project/developing-markets-for-zero-emission-ve...