Förstudie av affärsekosystem för elvägar

Sundelin, H., Mellquist, A.-C., Linder, M., Gustavsson, M., Börjesson, C., and Pettersson, S.
Type of publication: 

Electrified roads have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector. Where long-distance heavy traffic is concerned, there is actually no cheaper alternative which is equally energy-efficient, has such low carbon dioxide emissions and for which the energy supply is assured in Sweden and the rest of Europe. Many questions nevertheless remain.

In this preliminary study, we have focussed on the business ecosystem likely to be built up alongside an electrified road. This has been done by means of interviewing interested parties and a thorough review of previous publications. On the basis of this background information, a computation model has been developed to be able to analyse the influence of various parameters. The stretch of road between Gävle and Borlänge has been used as a case study but an attempt to find other applicable stretches has also been undertaken. The model has a solid footing with the parties involved in the project and with people who have good insight into financial computations previously undertaken in relation to electrified roads.

In order to investigate preconditions for future collaboration, the project has been in dialogue with the EU project FABRIC, with organisations CEDR and ERTRAC, as well as with interested parties from America. Where participation at conferences was involved, knowledge gleaned therefrom was further communicated by means of the newsletter, OMEV.

The computation model that has been developed is primarily thought of as a model for overall surpluses or deficits for all stakeholders in the business ecosystem. It is not, therefore, a complete socio-economic model, which would include considerably more consequences for society at large, such as the influence on local and national businesses, increased employment and so forth. The model has been developed on the assumption that all prices and values are given for a point in time when the solution is in an ’early commercialisation phase’.

In comparison with diesel routes, it generally applies for electrified roads that every kilometre of road and every vehicle adds extra costs and that every kilometre driven creates savings. Thus, for an electrified road system to be profitable, the stretch of electrified road must comprise a significant percentage of the overall distance driven by a truck. Nor must the stretch of road be too short, for then too much time is spent loading/unloading and too few kilometres (where the savings occur) are driven. Following familiarisation with various scenarios, a coherent, highly qualitative judgment, based on the electrified road computation model, would suggest that the suitable characteristics for such roads would be:

  • A distance of at least twenty kilometres
  • Annual average daily traffic (AADT) for electrified road trucks should, in both directions, be around two times as many as the number of electrified kilometres in one direction
  • The electrified stretch should comprise 60 % percent or more of the trucks’ overall distance driven each year.

Values entered into the model are based upon a survey of cost analyses previously conducted. With expert help we have arrived at a level of probability. The percentage (60 %) of the overall stretch to be electrified is based on the preliminary result of an analysis of the Gävle-Borlänge stretch from the ERSET research project.

Closed electrified road systems have a number of advantages in terms of, presumably, fewer diffusion barriers. Large volumes are nevertheless required to achieve profitability. Areas which enjoy large volumes may nevertheless function in accordance with this model. Possible instances could be ports, mines and other types of large-scale industrial shuttle traffic.

In a closed system along a 30km stretch, and with 50 trucks, each truck must drive back and forth 8 times a day, 365 days a year, in order to break even. With an average speed of 50km/hour, this results in 9.6 hours, not including loading and unloading. If we suppose each respective loading/unloading to take 15 minutes, this adds 4 hours. An inevitable question therefore is which production facilities can employ 50 trucks for 13.5 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For the case of Gävle-Borlänge, it appears that the stretch will be able to pay for itself, for example, when 190 electrified trucks complete the stretch an average of 4 times per day throughout the year (back and forth twice a day 365 days a year), amounting to 92 % of the vehicles’ overall distance being driven on electrified road.
The stretch between Gothenburg and Stockholm has been discussed in the majority of reports and could prove profitable. Although this would need considerable investment, such large-scale building is also the scenario which requires the lowest percentage of electrified vehicles. The AADT for heavy goods vehicles on the stretch varies between 1000 and 2000. Analysis shows that the electrified road system should pay for itself if 700 electrified trucks used the route once a day throughout the year, giving an electrified AADT of 854, that is to between 43 % and 86 % of the overall flow.

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