Working Paper

Case study: Electrification of an early-adopter fleet in Canada

This case study explores the feasibility of a Canadian small business acquiring a medium-duty battery electric van instead of an internal combustion engine vehicle. To understand how the business will be affected, the analysis predicts the daily driving strategy, including charging locations and charging time, and estimates operational costs. The study also includes a return-on-investment analysis.

The analysis finds that that the zero-emission van can complete the four 64 km trips required, with the vehicle’s battery staying over 20% state-of-charge in the summer and over 14% state-of-charge in the winter, with the aid of one overnight charging event and one fast-charging event. The net present value of the savings realized from switching to a battery electric van is estimated to be approximately $60,000 on both seven-year and ten-year timelines. A sensitivity analysis showed that these savings were robust to electricity and gasoline prices, with positive savings even at electricity prices as high as $0.50/kWh and gasoline prices as low as $0.80/L. The analysis demonstrates that electrification is feasible and cost-effective for the real-world case study examined.