Department of Economics and Business Economics

The computation of carbon emissions due to the net payload on a truck

Research output: Working paper/Preprint Working paperResearch


Many green logistics studies try to minimize the carbon emissions and in the process alter the load on the vehicle. Then, there is often a trade‐off between the distance driven and the load on the vehicle and in order to determine which decisions lead to the most substantial emission savings, it is necessary to compute the carbon emissions of these decisions. Current studies are only able to determine this for very specific conditions, such as a given vehicle under given driving conditions, and they may require many input parameters. Therefore, this paper presents a simple and broadly applicable emission computation tool.
We determine the share of the carbon emissions of fully loaded vehicles due to the weight of the load on the vehicle, i.e. the load‐based emission percentage (LBEP). We conduct a review study on papers that report on carbon emissions or fuel consumption for different load factors. Using regression analysis on these results, we find that on average the LBEP increases by about 0.5% per additional ton vehicle mass, starting from about 18% for a 5 ton vehicle. However, the variation around this average is large due to factors such as differences in
driving conditions. Such LBEP values can then be used to evaluate the carbon emission savings of many decisions related to the load on the vehicle, e.g., the decision to drive less frequently but with more load on the vehicle.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016

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