Electric and clean: E-vehicles are claiming the streets. This applies equally to private cars as it does to passenger and distribution transport. More and more companies are converting their fleets to eBuses, eTrucks and eVans. Because electric drives are paying off in the long term due to their particular eco-friendliness and economic efficiency. We provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges of e-mobility.
eTrucks and eVans hum cleanly and quietly through the streets to deliver goods. Half of public transport fleets are already deploying electric buses. Electric drives in company vehicles have long been considered good etiquette. Millions of private households have converted to e-cars. There is a comprehensive network of charging stations stretching across Europe to provide low-priced green electricity. This scenario is the objective set by European climate and transport policy for 2030. The transport transition is being advanced by political institutions, commercial enterprises and also by private vehicle users. E-mobility plays a key role in the general changeover to clean transport. Unlike other alternative drive systems, such as natural gas engines that still emit a certain amount of harmful exhaust gases, commercial e-vehicles and battery-powered passenger cars emit absolutely no local emissions.
Authorities within the European Union are prioritising e-mobility. They are granting subsidies to support the acquisition of e-vehicles and the installation of charging infrastructures. Charges are in contrast being applied to CO2 emissions. These impositions serve what is known as the two-degree target of international climate policy: The aim is to limit global warming that is harmful to the environment – in particular by reducing exhaust gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Germany, for example, sets economic quotas for eco-friendly means of transport: eTrucks are expected to account for one-third of journeys in the transport sector by 2030.
By then, 50 per cent of transport companies’ urban fleets should consist of eBuses.
The European Parliament adopted the Clean Vehicles Directive to issue similar requirements regarding the acquisition of heavy commercial vehicles by public companies. They apply to passenger transport, waste disposal, postal services and other transport services. Commercial vehicle manufacturers are increasingly intensifying their efforts towards e-mobility and environmental protection. Electrically-powered trucks and buses currently feature ranges of 200 to 300 kilometres per battery charge. They can therefore already be used without any problems in urban delivery traffic and local public transport. Increasing numbers of transport companies and carriers are therefore switching to eco-friendly and efficient e-mobility. Vision 2030 is becoming a reality.
Emission-free, quiet, sustainable: Commercial e-vehicles have the edge in terms of eco-friendliness and energy efficiency.
Electric cars and commercial e-vehicles emit no local emissions, so they contribute to improvements in air quality. This benefits both the environment and human health.
The acquisition costs for eTrucks, eBuses and e-cars are admittedly higher than for traditional vehicles. They are cheaper to run, however, because electricity is cheaper than fossil fuels. The investment therefore pays off in the long term.
Over half the energy generated in combustion engines is lost as heat. Electric drives, on the other hand, convert around 90 per cent of the supplied energy into motion. Moreover, electric vehicles can recover energy through recuperation.
eTrucks, eBuses and e-cars drive almost silently. Traffic noise will be substantially reduced by e-mobility. This is a plus for our quality of life. E-vehicles do nevertheless produce artificial noises to ensure road safety.
Battery-powered vehicles require less maintenance and are less prone to breakdowns than petrol or diesel. They have fewer wear parts, such as timing belts or V-belts, and oil and filter changes are unnecessary. So they are simpler and cheaper to run.