The road transport system is moving, slowly but surely, away from using fossil fuels. Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are an energy-efficient alternative to conventional vehicles. Commercial vehicle fleets are an attractive entry for PEVa into the transport system. This paper presents findings from a three-year study of 550 PEVs and their users. A combination of technical and social science methods provides a basis for greater understanding of PEV operations in commercial vehicle fleets. This paper shows that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have proven their functionality in several applications, but that winter conditions still imply an unjustified decrease in use. Usage varies according to application but results show that in general a substantial share of the battery capacity is redundant. Findings indicate that usage is not necessarily inhibited by the technical specifications of the battery but by the operational conditions in which commercial duties are performed. The only reliable alternative is to return with a large battery surplus. The vehicles studied have demonstrated their functionality and the users are positive. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) imply no restrictions in mobility, which results in high user satisfaction. Commercial vehicle fleets are suitable for PEV operations and with growing acceptance users have requested more PEVs hence a significant possibility exists to substitute a large share of the fossil-fuelled vehicles operating in commercial vehicle fleets.
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