New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows that electric vehicles are not just environmentally friendly; they also have the potential to improve the bottom line for many kinds of businesses.
Granted, the up-front costs of electric vehicles can be significant. A company looking to purchase an electric-powered delivery truck today will likely have to shell out nearly $150,000 –compared to about $50,000 for the same kind of truck with a standard internal-combustion engine.
But, the researchers at MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL) found that electric vehicles used to make deliveries on an everyday basis in big cities can cost 9 to 12 percent less to operate than trucks powered by diesel engines. What’s more, as battery costs continue to drop, the business case for electric vehicles will only get better, according to Jarrod Goentzel, director of the Renewable Energy Delivery Project at CTL and one of four co-authors of the new study.
The CTL study was conducted using data collected by the international office supplier Staples, as well as ISO New England, the nonprofit firm that runs New England’s electric power grid.
Using that data, the researchers modeled the costs for a fleet of 250 delivery trucks, and they examined alternate scenarios in which the whole fleet used one of three kinds of motors: purely electric engines, hybrid gas-electric engines and conventional diesel engines.
The researchers analyzed outcomes if the trucks in the fleet were driven 70 miles a day for 253 work days per year, with diesel gasoline costing $4 per gallon. They found that: (more…)