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Zero emission trucks

An overview of the state-of-the-art technologies and their potential

The study by CE Delft and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), surveys the technology potential for zero-emission road freight transport in the EU. For short distance transport, battery electric technology is feasible, as distribution trucks have lower range requirements and recharging can occur at scheduled downtimes (e.g. overnight). For long haul applications, battery electric vehicles coupled with overhead wires (catenary) or in-road charging (dynamic) infrastructure are possible, as well as fuel cell drivelines.

The cost differential between conventional and zero emission HDVs will diminish over the next 10-15 years, as fuel savings offset other costs. If zero-emission technologies are introduced on a large scale in the onroad freight transport sector beginning in 2020, the total end-user costs will not significantly increase. The total cost of ownership within this study do not consider required infrastructure investments.

All zero emission technologies require major infrastructure investments, whether hydrogen
refuelling stations, in-road inductive charging, or other systems. Broad policy support is needed to encourage the development and evaluation of various technology options. Over time, a the policy focus must shift from stimulating innovation and technology adoption to regulation, if it is to spur a successful transformation of the truck market.


Eelco den Boer

Delft, July 2013

Zero emission trucks


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