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Electric Delivery Trucks Save Big Bucks

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has come out with a new study that shows the payback period for a new delivery-type electric truck is much shorter than previously thought. The study confirms the now-familiar advantages of a fleet of electric delivery trucks, namely saving money on gas and cutting down on repair and maintenance costs. Savings related to the vehicle’s daily trips are only part of the equation, though. The part that really accelerates the payback period comes, surprisingly, when electric delivery trucks are simply sitting in the garage.

How much can you save with that electric vehicle?

According to Peter Dizikes of MIT, the new study shows that an electric delivery truck that goes about 70 miles on an average daily route in an urban area can cost up to 12 percent less to operate than its diesel counterparts. The savings potential is pretty obvious when you break it down by fuel. Diesel trucks get just over ten miles per gallon and even hybrids get only about 11.5 miles per gallon, while the electric trucks in the study (a fleet of 53 owned by Staples) used less than 1kwh per mile.

More savings from vehicle-to-grid systems

Typically, a comparative analysis of electric vehicle costs takes maintenance and repair into account as well as fuel savings. The MIT study went a step farther by factoring in the value of the vehicle’s battery as part of a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) system. In this scenario, once the truck is garaged for the night, its battery could be hooked into the local grid in order to smooth out spikes in night-time electricity use, and the owner would be paid for this service.

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