EMPOWER project at ALICE Innovation Village

Project Information

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme via the 2Zero Partnership and under GA no. 101096028, EMPOWER stands for “Eco-operated, Modular, highly efficient, and flexible multi-POWERtrain for long-haul heavy-duty vehicles.”

The European Commission has backed the EMPOWER project in response to ambitious new CO2 emissions targets proposed for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) from 2030 onwards. With road transport contributing one fifth of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and showing an upward trend, addressing this sector’s environmental impact has become paramount.

The EMPOWER project aims to establish new emission standards that align with the broader context of increased EU climate ambition by 2030 and the ultimate objective of EU climate neutrality by 2050. It seeks to facilitate the transition towards zero-emission mobility.

The project intends to develop two types of flexible, modular, and scalable zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (ZE HDV). One vehicle will be fully electric for regional deliveries (with a range of 400 km), while the other will be a hybrid of fuel cell and battery power for long-haul distances (with a range of 750 km). Both vehicles will undergo a six-month demonstration at TRL8 on European roads and international corridors, spearheaded by an experienced consortium of academic and industrial partners from Europe.

The consortium gathers 14 partners from 5 different countries, representing industrial companies, SMEs, RTOs, and academia, and it is coordinated by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.

The planned work is divided into three key areas: Component Design and Modularity, Integration and Infrastructure, and Demonstration.

AREA I – Component Design and Modularity

EMPOWER will tackle various aspects such as modular vehicle and low-voltage E/E architectures, reliable FC systems with modular energy storage, efficient e-axles, optimized thermal and energy management, advanced HVAC systems, electrified braking, and digital twin models. This modular approach enables scalability across different vehicle platforms.

AREA II – Integration and Infrastructure 

EMPOWER includes an innovative Human Vehicle Interface with Vehicle-to-Grid communication and ecorouting capabilities, a fleet management system for seamless integration of ZE HDVs, an overall life cycle assessment (LCA) and total cost of ownership (TCO) evaluation, and the establishment of a green hydrogen infrastructure for the cross-border demonstration of long-haul ZE HDVs in Europe.

AREA III – Demonstration

EMPOWER’s Demonstration phase comprises two stages. Stage 1 showcases the maximum driving ranges of the FCEV (750 km) and BEV (400 km) at the Balocco Proving Ground in Italy. In Stage 2, a conclusive six-month demonstration occurs, involving real-world use cases such as long-haul operations for customers like Barilla and Electrolux, as well as transportation between IVECO’s manufacturing sites and logistic hubs.

Find out more at:


EMPOWER Eco-operated, Modular, highly efficient, and flexible multi-POWERtrain for long-haul heavy-duty vehicles. Funded by  European Commission Horizon europe framework program through the 2Zero Partnership (GA no. 101096028).

Back to overview