Browse Publications Technical Papers 2014-01-2434
2014-09-30

Green Loading Zones to Support Cost-Effective Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicle Operations in New York City 2014-01-2434

The emergence of electric vehicle (EV) delivery trucks is resulting in health and environmental benefits, less noise, reduction of foreign energy dependency, and economic development opportunities. Green Loading Zones (GLZs) are dedicated curbside spaces for commercial delivery EVs meant to incentivize and accelerate market adoption. This study examined the impact and potential benefits of this strategy for New York City. Discussions with fleets revealed that while they are realizing operational savings and other benefits from the use of EVs, their incremental costs over diesel vehicles can take a very long time to recover, even with existing subsidy programs. Complementary incentives like GLZs can provide further justification for the investment in cleaner technology. Most fleets interviewed would place a high monetary value on guaranteed delivery locations and reduced parking violation expenses. Inclusion of GLZ electrical infrastructure to charge the EV battery could extend the range and operational capacity or permit the fleet to purchase vehicles with smaller battery packs, both of which would increase the cost effectiveness of this technology. Three specific New York City sites were selected to determine the feasibility of implementing GLZs. GLZs represent a difficult implementation, butting up against many of the city's current policy approaches such as reducing congestion; monetizing curbside space; preserving existing parking spaces; and avoiding confusing and hard to enforce curbside restrictions. While there are barriers to overcome, the benefits of enabling further EV use were found to be too significant to not pursue concepts like GLZs.

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