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Busy highway from aerial view. Guangzhou. China

Report/Paper

A New EV Horizon

Insights From Shenzhen's Path to Global Leadership in Electric Logistics Vehicles

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Eliminating carbon emissions from goods transport is one of the key challenges to the transition to a low-carbon global economy. A critical element of decarbonizing goods movement is transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels in favor of electricity. Over the last several years, large reductions in battery costs and commensurate gains in battery energy density have brought electric delivery vehicles into the range of economic viability, and the use of electric vehicles (EVs)—particularly in urban delivery—now represents a compelling near-term opportunity.

In this report, A New EV Horizon: Insights From Shenzhen’s Path to Global Leadership in Electric Logistics Vehicles, we explore Shenzhen’s experience in the deployment of electric urban delivery vehicles and take on one of the most important questions to accelerating adoption of EVs in urban delivery: How to effectively provide them with charging infrastructure?

To answer that question, this report uses a unique data set with complete driving records of over 10,000 electric delivery vehicles in the city of Shenzhen, supplemented by dozens of interviews with the companies that own and operate those vehicles, to analyze in unprecedented detail how those trucks are charging and what can be done to improve the charging system.

We believe a deeper understanding of Shenzhen’s experience deploying electric urban delivery vehicles can be a guidepost for other cities across the world aiming for a cleaner, low-carbon future.