Electrification potential for heavy-duty vehicles in harsh climate conditions: A case study based technical feasibility assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Battery-electric heavy-duty vehicles are considered a potential solution to reduce emissions in freight transport and increase energy security. However, battery-electric trucks are not a one-fits-all solution due to current battery technology limitations and vast diversity in freight operations and vehicle categories. Although the literature available in electric truck feasibility provides an insightful overview of their potential, it does not fully cover the performance variations under adverse climate and technical conditions. This paper attempts to fill the gap in the literature by quantifying the impact of low temperatures, headwind, variable payload, and tail-lift use over different freight vehicles from a case study fleet in Iceland. NREL's FASTSim is the vehicle energy consumption model used for the analysis. The study also addresses on-route fast-charging, considering realistic non-linear charging rates and performance in low temperatures. The results showed that the range of the analyzed vehicles can experience a decrease of 41–47% under unfavorable conditions, compared to the estimated range under ideal conditions. Short-haul routes could be electrified even under the most challenging conditions, while regional routes might require some planification adjustments to reach 100% route electrification in tough conditions. On-route charging would be necessary to achieve full fleet electrification. In tough conditions, sprinter vans met 49% (85% with charging) of the analyzed routes, while trucks met 83% (90% with charging). The outcomes of this research support several UN Sustainable Development Goals (3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13), and could be used to develop specific measures within the Icelandic 2020 Climate Action Plan. The methodology used is feasibly replicable for teams who wish to perform a similar analysis in different contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137997
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís), grant number 228938-051 . The authors would like to thank Ölgerðin for their support on providing guidance to carry out this analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Other keywords

  • Battery-electric vehicle
  • Climate conditions
  • Freight transport
  • Heavy-duty vehicle
  • Technical feasibility


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrification potential for heavy-duty vehicles in harsh climate conditions: A case study based technical feasibility assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this