Assessment of the Carbon Footprint Reductions of Tricycle Logistics Services

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Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

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This research assessed the greenhouse gas emissions of a tricycle logistics company (B-Line) that is providing last-mile distribution services in downtown Portland, Oregon. The main research goal was to compare the carbon footprint of a tricycle logistics service with that of a traditional urban logistics company. The tricycles use electric engines; traditional urban logistic companies use diesel-powered vehicles. Emissions associated with power and fuel consumption, along with vehicle and battery production, assembly, and disposal, were quantified. Real-world GPS and warehouse data were recorded to evaluate B-Line operations, and different scenarios were analyzed to assess emissions reductions. A conservative approach was taken to avoid overstating emissions savings. The results show that total greenhouse gas emissions, including B-line’s and its partners’ operations, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), are reduced between 51% and 72%. If the comparison includes only B-line’s deliveries, the tricycles’ CO2e emissions are five times lower than diesel vans’ emissions.

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