Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Second meeting of the Common Interest Group on Decarbonising Heavy-Duty Road Transport

ITF Meeting ITF Meeting

The aim of the group’s second meeting was to learn more about the technical and economic challenges of technologies. Participants also discussed opportunities presented by different technologies, as well as potential pathways to their adoption.

The meeting’s first session reviewed the technical potential of promising technologies to decarbonise heavy-duty road freight (HDRF). External presentations then investigated critical topics for each technology with a focus on their economic potential and business cases.

The final session focused on recent pilot projects and country perspectives to highlight how policymakers are evaluating the relative performance of different options.


Session 1

State of play after COP26, ITF update on analytical work on technical potential of different technologies.
• Herman Sips, Netherlands – Reflections on COP26
• Matteo Craglia, ITF – Scenarios of Heavy Duty Road Freight

Session 2

This session hosted presentations and discussions on the economic potential of options to decarbonise HDRF, opportunities and risks.
• Henrik Wentzel, Scania – A focus on BEVs
• Hussein Basma, ICCT – Long haul battery electric trucks in Europe
• Evan Reznicek, NREL – BEV and FCEV in USA
• David Cebon, CSRF – A focus on ERS
• Arne Nabo, VTI Sweden – A focus on battery swapping

Session 3

This session hosted presentations and discussions on how governments are comparing and evaluating the economic potential of different technology options.
• Henry Robinson, Department for Transport, UK – Zero emission road freight trials
• Tobias Paulus, BMVI Germany – German HDV pilot projects: BEV, ERS, FCEV
• Daniela Soler, MinEnergia Chile – Chile perspective

Key insights and next steps

• There is a large momentum from both countries and private sector actors to decarbonise road freight.
• Countries are developing comprehensive frameworks to promote the adoption of zero emissions vehicles and some are already building upon those with pilot projects at significant scales.
• There is an increasing understanding that deploying recharging/refuelling infrastructure in the 2020s will be particularly important to ensure the adoption of low carbon technologies in time to reach ambitious decarbonisation targets. To begin deploying recharging/refuelling infrastructure by the end of the decade means the technical and economic potential of different options must be understood as soon as possible. The suitability of different technologies varies for different use cases. For urban delivery and short distance applications there seems to be clear consensus that battery electric vehicles are well placed to be deployed in the short term and lead to significant emissions reductions. For other challenging use cases, infrastructure decisions are crucial.
• While there is uncertainty for exactly what technology will be best suited for e.g. long-haul applications, there is already some consensus that ‘no-regret’ options include improving grid infrastructure near main roads and areas of high demand and it is important to start early.
• Improving grid infrastructure also highlights the importance of holistic decision making, including actors in the energy and transport sector and developing an understanding of the financial mechanisms and interacting business models.
• Other no-regret options include developing modular electrified vehicles that can accommodate different technologies and therefore hedge against uncertainty. Pilot projects are seen as particularly important to overcome some of the technology uncertainty and understand specific national challenges in the short term.
• International cooperation is crucial to ensure compatibility and common approaches which are mutually reinforcing.

Share this page