Research into the electrification of the logistics sector

Electrical logistics is a no-brainer. On a large scale, vans and trucks are already switching to electrically powered engines. This demands a lot from the fleet manager and from the electricity grid. To keep all these vehicles on the road effectively, a lot of available power is needed. Grid operators therefore like to quickly get in touch with organizations with their own vehicle fleet to smartly expand the electricity grid in the right places.

The role of Elaad in the mobility transition

ElaadNL is involved in the transition at various levels. At national level, for example, in the National Agenda Charging Infrastructure (NAL). In this we think along about both the preconditions and the practical realization of, among other things, sufficient (public) charging stations for the logistics sector. We look at both the charging needs within the logistics sector and the impact this has on the electricity grid. In addition, ElaadNL is investigating, also for the logistics sector, the speed of the mobility transition and the possibilities of solutions such as Smart Charging.

Collaborations with the logistics sector

ElaadNL actively cooperates with logistics industry organizations TLN and evofenedex. As a result, there is always a short line between the joint grid operators and the joint transport companies. Thanks to this collaboration:

  • Do we know the interests of the different parties
  • Do we stimulate knowledge transfer between the logistics sector and the network operators
  • We accelerate the mobility transition through optimal cooperation
  • Do we have a good circle of contacts to initiate (large-scale) practical trials together, for example in the field of Smart Charging

What steps should you take as an entrepreneur?

Elaad is developing the ‘Logistics Portal’ especially for transport entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with their own fleet. Transport companies can easily get in touch with the network operator via this portal. This is how we work together towards sufficient grid capacity for the required charging infrastructure. Entrepreneurs can easily submit an application via the Logistics Portal based on the expected fleet of vehicles and the associated electricity needs. Elaad then ensures that this ends up with the right grid operator(s), so that the discussion can be started as quickly and adequately as possible.

Electric logistics in the National Agenda Charging Infrastructure

The National Agenda Charging Infrastructure, or NAL for short, is a plan that stems from the Climate Agreement. The NAL describes the practical details of the transition to sustainable mobility. ElaadNL is involved on behalf of the grid operators in the establishment and implementation of the NAL and the ambitions from the NAL. Specifically for the logistics sector, this means that we think along about things such as:

  • The location of public logistics charging hubs
  • European cooperation on loading logistics
  • The establishment and feasibility of ZE zones
  • Heavier charging infrastructure to provide trucks with sufficient energy faster

The NAL ‘Logistics’ working group focuses specifically on this sector and the needs and necessary adjustments to achieve a minimum reduction of 7.3 megatons of CO2 in 2030.

Rapid transition to electric transport

In the ElaadNL Outlooks we investigate the speed of the transition. Our research shows that the transition is happening very quickly. This is partly prompted by legislation, but also to a large extent by the environmental ambitions of entrepreneurs. The growth forecasts show that by 2030 there are already expected to be between 7,000 and 23,000 battery-electric (BEV) trucks in the Netherlands. Until 2035, this will rise to between 28,000 and 66,000 BEVs. This can be seen in the graph below and can be read in the ElaadNL Outlook Truckers komen op stroomfrom 2020.

Zero-emission zones

The transition to electric transport is being accelerated even more because various municipalities are setting up so-called zero-emission zones (ZE zones). This is an area in the city center where only vehicles with zero emissions are allowed. The first ZE zones will be active in 2025 and by 2030 this will increase to a total of about 40 inner cities where commercial vehicles with a combustion engine are banned. ElaadNL wants to bring entrepreneurs with commercial vehicles into contact with the grid operator at an early stage, so that the grid operator is aware of the entrepreneur’s charging needs in good time. The grid operator uses this knowledge to adequately prepare the electricity grid at the local level for the growing demand for sufficient electricity.

Will trucks be battery electric or hydrogen?

A question we hear a lot is whether battery electric or hydrogen is the future for the logistics sector. In the field of passenger vehicles and delivery vans, we see that that battle has now been won. Battery-electric vehicles predominate here now and in the future. This is not yet so clear for trucks, but what we do see is that the charging infrastructure is currently developing rapidly and that the number of charging stations for hydrogen is only increasing slowly. It is therefore expected that the battery-electric truck will win, certainly for domestic journeys. Whether this is also the case for international transport depends, among other things, on the availability of charging infrastructure and the speed at which charging can take place.