Integrated planning for electric commercial vehicle fleets: A case study for retail mid-haul logistics networks

Maximilian Schiffer, Patrick S. Klein, Gilbert Laporte, Grit Walther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Electric commercial vehicles can contribute significantly to sustainable transportation. However, they are still perceived as being less economically viable than internal combustion engine vehicles. To this end, we analyze the deployment of electric commercial vehicles in retail mid-haul logistics fleets for current and future technology scenarios. We develop a novel assessment methodology that combines total cost of ownership calculations with a rich location-routing model. We consider integrated strategic network design and operational routing decisions over a multi-period time horizon, accounting for mixed fleets of electric and conventional vehicles and battery degradation. To solve this problem, we develop a novel matheuristic that embeds a state-of-the-art metaheuristic to take operational routing decisions. With this framework, we analyze a possible transition towards electrified logistics fleets. Starting with a real-world case, we perform sensitivity analyses based on a technology roadmap and further network structures. We discuss cost structures, the time-dependent nature of investment decisions, operational characteristics, and potential emissions savings. We show that in certain cases an electrification of mid-haul logistics fleets is operationally feasible, economically viable, and provides environmental advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-960
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 16 Jun 2021


  • Case study
  • Electric commercial vehicles
  • Routing
  • Sustainable logistics


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