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Electrification of Urban Waste Collection: Introducing a Simulation-Based Methodology for Feasibility, Impact and Cost Analysis

Ewert, Ricardo; Grahle, Alexander; Martins-Turner, Kai; Syré, Anne; Nagel, Kai; Göhlich, Dietmar

VSP Working Paper

We introduce a multi-agent-based simulation methodology to investigate the feasibility and evaluate environmental and economic sustainability of an electrified urban waste collection. Electrification is a potential solution for transport decarbonization and already widely available for individual and public transport. However, the availability of electrified commercial vehicles like waste collection vehicles is still limited, despite their significant contribution to urban emissions. Moreover, there is a lack of clarity whether electric waste collection vehicles can persist in real word conditions and which system design is required. Therefore, we present a synthetic model for waste collection demand on a per-link basis, using open available data. The tour planning is solved by an open-source algorithm as a capacitated vehicle routing problem (CVRP). This generates plausible tours which handle the demand. The generated tours are simulated with an open-source transport simulation (MATSim) for both the diesel and the electric waste collection vehicles. To compare the life cycle costs, we analyze the data using total cost of ownership (TCO). Environmental impacts are evaluated based on a Well-to-Wheel approach. We present a comparison of the two propulsion types for the exemplary use case of Berlin. And we are able to generate a suitable planning to handle Berlin’s waste collection demand using battery electric vehicles only. The TCO calculation reveals that the electrification raises the total operator cost by 16-30 %, depending on the scenario and the battery size with conservative assumptions. Furthermore, the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) can be reduced by 60-99%, depending on the carbon footprint of electric power generation.