May 11, 2023

Zero emission heavy-duty road transport: perspectives and innovation testing in real operations

Friday, March 31st, 2023

May 11, 2023 | Trade Fair Center Messe München | Room A52

In this session participants will get insights on the 3 main innovation projects on Heavy Duty Long Distance road freight transport decarbonization: ZEFES, EMPOWER & ESCALATE, funded by the European Commission in the frame of the 2ZERO partnership

An overview of the projects will be shared and requirements for vehicles, infrastructure, and logistics operations to accelerate adoption and deployment to be addressed by projects discussed. Topics as charging and refuelling infrastructure, road infrastructure, operational business aspects and social/ legislative aspects will be in focus:

  • What is the decarbonisation roadmap of shippers, logistics service providers & carriers? What are their needs and requirements?
  • What is next level of e-trucks? Will this influence the operations?
  • What is next level of e-infrastructure? Charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Europe.
  • What is next level on business & logistics operations (services, business solutions, High-Capacity Transport-European Modular Systems, IT-tools, route planning, assignment, etc.)?


14:00 – 15:00 An introduction to zero emission heavy duty road transport initiatives

A) Welcome & introduction: European Commission, 2ZERO and ALICE

  • Philippe FROISSARD – European Commission (DG RTD). Head of Unit Future Urban & Mobility Systems
  • Stephan Neugebauer – 2ZERO Chairman
  • Fernando Liesa – ALICE Secretary General (Download presentation)

B) An introduction to ZEFES, EMPOWER, ESCALATE projects and the AEVETO Cluster.

15:00 – 15:30 Break

Driving the transition towards zero emissions. Needs and requirements

15:30 – 16:20 Shippers | Logistic and transport companies round table (Download presentation)

16:20 – 17:00 OEMs round table (Download presentation)

17:00 – 17:30 Infrastructure round table (Download presentation)

  • Kathryn Wunderle – AIR PRODUCTS
  • Claudio Vitalini – IIT BOZEN, HYDROGEN CENTRE
  • Mario Campo – HITACHI ENERGY


17:30 – 18:00 Conclusion and next steps

More information on ZEFES

More information on the event

Within the Green Deal, Europe commits itself to be the first CO2 neutral continent, by 2050. To achieve this, a first milestone is defined as an overall CO2 reduction target of 55% by 2030. For the road transport sector, the European Commission is proposing the review of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1242[1] and setting emissions reductions for road transportation as follows: 45% from 1 January 2030, 65% from 1 January 2035, 90% from 1 January 2040 onwards.

The use of zero tailpipe emissions vehicles (ZEV) for long distance heavy transport is an important part towards achieving the above targets. Today, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) have a limited range: this makes it difficult to use them effectively as replacements for vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE).

A challenge exists regarding charging of the vehicles. A large-scale switch to electric vehicles for long distance heavy transport requires many charging points. Particularly, if the best use of driver’s breaks is to be made.

Energy prices are having a big impact on the rate of the introduction of ZEVs as well. Higher diesel fuel prices and lower electricity prices at the charging point (or a lower hydrogen price), will lead to a large-scale introduction of the ZEVs for long distance HD transport even sooner. Here, fuel cells will be a useful part in the fleet electrification process, especially for certain types of heavy transport, when there is a lack of EV-charging points (yet, at the same time, an availability of hydrogen), when there is a low price of hydrogen and when additional requirements are imposed upon the refueling rate.

Given the near-term breakthrough of battery electric and fuel cell trucks, three important challenges remain.

Firstly, the efficiency and modularity of the vehicles is a key factor for the rate of the introduction. Lower energy consumption means smaller battery packs are needed, which means lower investment (and less need for raw materials). Modularity will make sure the right vehicle configuration for each mission can be used.

Secondly, preparing the technology for mass production, scaling-up the production will be needed, to reduce prices via volume effects and technical improvements. The modularity of vehicle components and architectures will be of big help here.

Thirdly, digitalization comes will support the smooth integration of ZEVs and help increase the operational efficiency.

In the ZEFES project, the overall goal is to make ZEVs fit for long distance heavy transport, by focusing on efficiency improvements, mass production capabilities and demonstrating the use of the technology in daily operations.

The ALICE-ZEFES event, Thursday 11 March, is a follow up event to discuss in depth the requirements for vehicles, infrastructure and use cases and logistics operations and -planning, social aspects, charging and refueling infrastructure, road infrastructure, operational business aspects and society, legislative and type approval.


ZEFES is co-funded by the European Union under grant number 101095856. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


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