As electric vehicles appear as a potential solution for cleaner deliveries, several constraints affect the attractiveness of electric light commercial vehicles (eLCVs). Our research aims at identifying these constraints as well as quantifying their respective weight. We investigate two types of constraints: operational and economic. Operational constraints determine if an electric vehicle is suitable for a given use; for example, the limited range of operation due to the necessity to recharge the battery. Economic performance, which we examine through Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) computations for electric and conventional vehicles, sheds light upon the trade-offs faced by business users when they have to choose between several technologies. We then present the results of a disaggregated constraints analysis made on a French database about light commercial vehicles, which assesses the proportion of vehicles that could be replaced by electric ones, and at what costs. This study shows that, today, eLCVs are competitive for some specific uses, but do not cover the needs of every freight transport operator. Our analysis also shows that even if fuel prices remain low and financial incentives decline, the competitiveness of electric vehicles could grow in the future.
Keywords: electric vehicles, light commercial vehicles, constraints analysis, total cost of ownership.