Georgia Tech life-cycle study finds TCO of medium-duty electric and diesel delivery trucks similar; electric life-cycle energy use and GHG lower than diesel

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A Georgia Tech team consisting of Dong-Yeon Lee, Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student, Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor of Natural Systems in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, and Marilyn Brown, professor in the School of Public Policy, compared the life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and total cost of ownership (TCO) of medium-electric and diesel urban delivery trucks for a range of drive cycles and electricity generation scenarios.The study was published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology:For both types of trucks, vehicle efficiency is important from the perspective of energy consumption, GHG emissions, and TCO over the vehicle lifetime. The TTW [tank-to-wheels] efficiency of the truck depends strongly on the drive cycle, and the electric truck is more likely to provide higher benefits with the NYCC-style driving conditions than with the CSHVC or similar conditions. Given the same drive cycle and thus the same vehicle efficiency, the electric truck would be more attractive to fleet operators with high truck utilization (VKT [vehicle kilometers traveled] demand), of course within the electric drive range.Battery replacement is another key factor; to maximize the benefits from electric trucks, the durability and reliability of the automotive Li-ion battery are crucial, which might be advanced with technological development. Recycling of the EV Li-ion battery could also improve life-cycle energy consumption and GHG emissions. There is also variation by state in the electric truck’s comparative energy consumption and GHG emissions. For the baseline case, recent and projected future generation mixes result in similar or less energy consumption and GHG emissions of the electric truck compared to the diesel truck in most parts of the US.—Lee et al.For more information visit


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Ashley Daniel
  • Created: 07/08/2013
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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