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STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2015 TOPIC AREA: Sustainability, energy, and health CENTER: MetroFreight

A Methodology for Assessing the Potential of Electric Vehicles with French Commercial Vans as a Case Study

Project Summary

Project number: MF-2.2d

Funding source: Volvo Research and Educational Foundations

Performance period: 1/1/2015 to 10/28/2016


Project description

This paper presents a methodology aiming at quantitatively evaluating the competitiveness of electric vehicles with respect to conventional ones, with a focus on small vans. Two main constraints are investigated: range and cost. Based on a statistical distribution of the annual driven mileage, our methodology does not require as much data as a disaggregated study, which goes well with the investigation of business users, as there are generally less data available for them than for households travel patterns. Our method also puts into perspective total cost of ownership computations, as economic and range constraints are strongly linked to battery prices.

Our methodology is then applied to the case of commercial vans in France, today and for a 2021 forecast. Results show that electric vans' competitiveness is likely to grow in the future even in the case of a reduction in public incentives. They also show an important sensitivity to the input parameters, especially diesel prices and incentives. Different business activities are explored, and freight transportation stands out as the one with the highest potential for electric vehicles. The research also shows the mechanical effect of a decrease in battery prices on the broadening of supply in battery sizes, the impact of which was quantified. This suggests that for electric vehicle forecasts to be accurate, several models with different battery sizes should be considered.


Pierre Camilleri
21 Boulevard Voltaire
Dijon, Burgundy BP 81110 - 21011
[email protected]

Laetitia Dablanc
Director of Research, IFSTTAR, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks - University of Paris-East
14-20 boulevard Newton, Cite Descartes
Marne la Vallee cedex 2, 77447
[email protected]