Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research
Efficient Technologies and Systems for Mobility
The here presented study addresses the technological feasibility of
replacing current internal combustion engine trucks that were
registered in Switzerland with battery electric trucks. Three types of
BYD (a Chinese manufacturer) battery electric trucks with different
loading and range capabilities were considered as potential
replacements of registered internal combustion engine trucks.
Our method is based on truck journey data collected by the Swiss
Federal Statistical Office. We find that already nowadays between 71%
and 74.5% of trucks could be replaced by battery electric trucks, which
would result in a net reduction of 0.67 Mt of CO2emissions. As many of
the replaced trucks only cover small daily distances, we argue that
larger battery packs than currently available in commercially offered
trucks are a necessity.
The future of logistics: How will electric trucks shape the future energy demand and
distribution of Switzerland?
Swiss-registered trucks (curb weight > 3.5 t),
contributing more than 2.2 billion kilometers in 2017
road transportations , will be facing more regulations
on emissions in the upcoming years . A change of
energy source for truck transportation is necessary.
Currently, BYD (a Chinese manufacturer that already
sells battery electric trucks) has three offerings with
different range capabilities and loading capacities.
Three types of trucks will be assigned to replace current
internal combustion engines based on surveyed drivers’
maximum load weights .
Keyuan Yin1, Dominik Bucher, Henry Martin, René Buffat, Martin Raubal
Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation, ETH Zurich
Energy demand model
This study constructed a battery electric truck energy
model that can be applied on both flat surfaces and
inclined surfaces, modified from . The analytical
energy functions’ components on flat and inclined
surfaces are shown in the figure below. Different
efficiency and drainage rates are applied to the
analytical energy model to obtain a realistic energy
The obtained data used postal codes as origin and
destinations of each transportation; therefore, our
routing used Swiss Post’s postal codes with coordinates
to obtain routing information along with elevation
profile for a more accurate and precise energy demand
The data processing logic and the elevation profile
result of one transportation from Zurich Seebach, 8052
to Bern, 3001 can be found in the figure below.
Effects on local energy demand
Electric trucks require 1.348 TWh annually, 2.4% of the
total end-consumption of Switzerland , and they can
avoid 0.67 Mt CO22for Switzerland, 1.67% of the total
Swiss CO22emissions . In areas with low population,
electric trucks can bring 2 times or higher electricity
demand per capita compared to the national average
(7520 kWh ), and grid reinforcement in these areas is
recommended. The annual total energy demand for
each postal code area under the assumption that all
charging activities will happen during a nighttime break
at the efficiency of 77% is presented in the figure below.
Future requirements for e-trucks
Areas where the electrification may have a large impact
were identified between Bern and Zurich, Basel and its
surroundings, areas surrounding Zurich, Chur and its
surrounding areas, Lausanne and its surrounding areas,
and areas around St. Gallen.
The current stage of BYD solutions can replace 71% to
74.5% of internal combustion engine trucks under an
average drainage rate of 70% at 77% to 85% of the
general efficiencies (middle figure). In order to reach
85% of electrification of trucks in the future, a minimal
battery capacity of 285 kWh required (right figure).
This study concludes that the deployment of electric
trucks will slightly increase the national energy demand
by 2.4% at maximum, will reduce Switzerland’s CO2
emissions by 0.67 Mt, and will stress grids on loosely-
populated areas. Currently, at least 71% of internal
combustion engine trucks can be replaced by electric
trucks. Future industrial involvement and development
of grid stabilization, charging coordination, fast
charging technologies, and higher battery capacity may
accelerate the deployment of electric trucks with
favorable policies as catalysts.
 Federal Statistical Office. Gueterverkehr in der schweiz 2017. 2018
 EU Commission. Reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.
 BYD. Electric truck brochures. 2018
 Thomas Earl et al. Analysis of long haul battery electric trucks in EU
Marketplace and technology, economic, environmental, and policy
perspectives. 8th Commercial Vehicle Workshop, Graz 2018
 Swissgrid. Grid operation - grid data - production and consumption.
 Worldbank. World bank database. 2019
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
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1This poster is based on the semester thesis that Keyuan
Yin wrote as part of his Masters in Energy Science and
Technology at the Department of Information
Technology and Electrical Engineering at ETH Zurich.