Socio-technical experiences from electric vehicle utilisation in commercial fleets

Publisher's full text
Martina Wikström
Lisa Hansson
Per Alvfors

Commercial vehicle fleets are in many ways an attractive entry for electric vehicles into the transport system. In total, 174 electric vehicles have operated in commercial vehicle fleets and gathered socio-technical data over a period of 18. months, resulting in 302,000 all electric kilometres. This paper presents two perspectives regarding electric vehicle operations in commercial vehicle fleets - the functionality perspective, illustrated by the vehicle actions, and the user perspective that addresses the implementation of the task. The socio-technical analysis has resulted in four major findings. With time, the overall usage and the driving distance between charging occasions increase. It is not the passage of time that has influenced this behaviour but it may be explained as the result of accumulated experience. Swedish winter conditions show regression in usage, foremost due to users not familiar with the range reduction caused by the heating system. The need for public charging has been shown to be modest, which in an introductory phase with limited development of charging infrastructure, makes commercial vehicle fleets favourable to electrify over private vehicle fleets. According to deployment strategy, the different user groups' ability to incorporate the electric vehicles in their daily activities has been explored and this paper shows large potential for substituting traditional internal combustion engine vehicles within commercial vehicle fleets. Electric vehicles have been made available through a technology procurement scheme and have generated both kilometres and experience, which has come to increase the understanding of the usage of electric vehicles in commercial vehicle fleets.

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