Real-world use cases for zero-emission trucks: A comparison of electric and diesel tractors in Tangshan, China

The Tangshan region, a major center of steel production in China, has experienced heavy air pollution, partially due to tailpipe emissions from heavy trucks around production yards. This paper compares the cost and performance of an electric tractor operating in the Tangshan region with its diesel counterpart to help identify actions and policies that could enable continued penetration of electric vehicles in the region.

In this case study, electric tractors were found to operate more hours per day than diesel tractors but traveled a shorter daily range due to the more conservative schedules adopted by the fleet operator. Electric tractors are shown to be cost competitive with diesel in this case. Regarding cost efficiency of delivery, electric tractors have a 10% premium over diesel tractors through a five-year life cycle.