Achieving Diesel Powertrain Ownership Parity in Battery Electric Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles Using a Rapid Recurrent Recharging Architecture

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Authors Abstract
Battery electric vehicles (BEV) in heavy duty (HD) commercial freight transport face challenging technoeconomic barriers to adoption. Specifically, beyond safety and compliance, fleet and operational logistics require both high up-time and parity with diesel system productivity/Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to enable strong adoption of electrified powertrains. At present, relatively high energy storage prices coupled with the increased weight of BEV systems limit the practicality of HD commercial freight transport to shorter range applications, where smaller batteries will suffice for the mission energy requirements (single operational shift). This paper presents an approach to extend the feasibility of BEV HD trucking for a broad range of applications. The concept is based on the leveraging rapid and recurrent recharging of a BEV HD truck that may either already make frequent stops due to shipment drop-offs/reloading or be required to make frequent stops along with longer missions for recharging. While the challenges of the latter are well appreciated, the concept proposed explores making minimal impact to overall mission time by targeting high C-rate charging while optimizing the frequency (miles) through which these events must occur. The concept optimizes battery size and chemistry, such that the expected life (years and total energy throughput) is balanced with the depth of discharge between recharging events, thus making complete use of the energy available through the life of the battery system. The solution is constrained to minimize the impact on payload capacity. The paper analyzes critical levers in achieving diesel price parity (based on a simplified vehicle TCO), achieved through different purchase options (including lease versus buy) and operational models (half-life swap out). Finally, the paper identifies the application design domain where these solutions are viable with limited impact on fleet operations.
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Sujan, V., Xie, F., and Smith, D., "Achieving Diesel Powertrain Ownership Parity in Battery Electric Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles Using a Rapid Recurrent Recharging Architecture," Advances and Current Practices in Mobility 4(4):1166-1180, 2022,
Additional Details
Mar 29, 2022
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Journal Article