The transition of road transport toward autonomous and alternative fuel-powered heavy-duty trucks in Germany

  • The trucking industry is at the beginning of a radical change due to several megatrends which will reshape the industry significantly. Based on the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, the German government adopted its own Climate Action Plan 2050 which includes sector- specific reduction targets to reach a greenhouse gas neutral society by the middle of the 21st century. By 2030, the German Climate Action Plan specifies a reduction target of 40% from transportation compared to the reference year 1990. While emissions from other sectors such as energy or industry have decreased significantly since then, emissions from transportation remained stable. Among the various modes of transportation, passenger cars and commercial vehicles are by far the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions. As of January 2019, 99.7% of heavy-duty trucks registered in Germany run on diesel while the number of alternative fuel- powered passenger cars increases steadily. Apart from rising emissions, the industry faces a severe shortage of qualified truck drivers. According to the German Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics Companies, the industry was facing a shortage of 45,000 drivers in Germany in 2017 with increasing tendency due to higher trade volumes and e-commerce. This dissertation aims to discuss the transition of road transport in Germany toward innovative heavy-duty trucks. The main body of this dissertation consists of three research papers each of them focusing on autonomous and/or alternative fuel-powered heavy-duty trucks. The first research paper presents the results of a Delphi study with experts from industry and academia on factors affecting the purchasing decision and operation of alternative fuel-powered heavy-duty trucks in Germany. In the second study, a choice-based conjoint experiment with employees from freight companies was conducted to test how customers value the main attributes of innovative heavy-duty trucks. The Generalized Bass diffusion model was applied in the third study to investigate the future diffusion of battery electric heavy-duty trucks considering total-cost-of-ownership reduction effects.

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Author:Benedikt Anderhofstadt
Publisher:WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management
Place of publication:Vallendar
Referee:Stefan Spinler, Carl Markus Wallenburg
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2020/09/22
Date of first Publication:2020/09/22
Publishing Institution:WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management
Granting Institution:WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management
Date of final exam:2020/06/30
Release Date:2020/09/22
Tag:Autonomes Fahrzeug; Biokraftstoff; Deutschland; Straßengüterverkehr
Autonomous vehicle; Biofuel; Germany; Road freight transport
Page Number:130 S.
Institutes:WHU Supply Chain Management Group / Kühne Institute of Logistics Management / Kühne Foundation Endowed Chair of Logistics Management
Licence (German):Copyright this PhD thesis