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Inspirations From the Global Leader: Getting to 100% Electric Delivery Vehicles

A New Report Series From Rocky Mountain Institute Brings New Insights From Shenzhen–the Global Electric Vehicle Leader– on How to Fully Electrify Urban Delivery and Logistics Vehicles.

Today Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) launched a six-volume report series that explores the experience of the City of Shenzhen, China in addressing carbon emissions and air pollution through the electrification of its urban freight sector. Shenzhen is leading the world in electric vehicle adoption and the details of how it is moving towards 100% electrification can provide lessons for cities around the world.

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Utilization of a vehicle is one of the biggest determining factors to wider adoption of electric vehicles in fleet and logistics applications. This report series—Putting Electric Logistics Vehicles to Work in Shenzhen—focuses on understanding the policies, charging infrastructure, technology, and market development advances critical to achieving full utilization of electric logistics vehicles (ELVs).

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This report series contains insights based on the lessons drawn from Shenzhen relevant to global leaders, including state and city governments, logistics delivery and retail goods industries, and the financial sector. The key insights from our work relevant to these leaders include:

  • Full logistics electrification is possible. Shenzhen’s experience shows that a rapid transition to the use of EVs in urban logistics is feasible and, with the proper policy framework, vehicle operators will rapidly electrify.
  • Policy must evolve as logistics electrification progresses. As the low-hanging fruit of logistics electrification is picked, policy makers must be prepared to pivot towards harder use cases. Being able to dynamically adjust policy to the needs of distinct market segments as they electrify is critical to success.
  • Growing an ELV fleet is a necessary but insufficient condition for logistics electrification. Policy makers often set EV targets in terms of share of sales or share of fleet. Getting EVs into the hands of operators is the first step in full logistics electrification. Cities must also ensure that ELVs are able to displace the use of fossil fuel vehicles.
  • Encourage innovation and entrepreneurialism in the supporting ecosystem. Cities and the financial sector can support innovation in multiple ways, including engaging with industry to support innovative pilots that support proof-of-concept for new approaches to logistics electrification.

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