Ryder Says Switching From Diesel to EV Increases Costs


Ryder System has released a quantitative analysis of the potential economic impacts of converting commercial diesel vehicles to electric vehicles in today’s market. Ryder says its customers frequently ask about transitioning to zero-emission vehicles in fleets. Especially the cost-benefits of doing so. As a result, Ryder published Charged Logistics: The Cost of Electric Vehicle Conversion for U.S. Commercial Fleets.

Based on factors in today’s market for dedicated fleet operations, Ryder’s data shows that transporting via electric vehicles instead of diesel vehicles shows cost increases across the board. This ranges from about 5 percent for light-duty transit vans to as much as 114 percent for heavy-duty tractor-trailer operations. The amount for any given vehicle will depend on geographic area of use. A mixed fleet of 25 vehicles in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty uses, the average cost is 67 percent higher total cost to transport for EV versus diesel.

The most impactful cost was in employee productivity, which is lower per vehicle for electrics due to charging times and range limitations. The costs are otherwise largely associated with the higher cost of purchase and the infrastructure needs of those vehicles. Other factors such as employee retraining, facilities conversions, etc. were also impactful. Not included in the losses were potential offsets from state, regional, or federal incentives (beyond purchase incentives) for fleet operations.

Ryder says it’s committed to zero-emissions fleet goals. The social and other impacts of EV fleet adoption are important and are usually the greatest factors for adoptees of commercial EV options. In addition, costs are continuing to decrease as adoption increases.