E-Trucks lead in TCO efficiency, ICCT study reveals

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has released a new report, which provides a detailed analysis of the decarbonisation pathways for heavy-duty vehicles in Europe. This report, focusing on a total cost of ownership (TCO) comparison for various truck classes, offers critical insights into economically viable strategies for reducing carbon emissions in the heavy-duty vehicle sector.
Europe’s heavy-duty vehicles, predominantly diesel-powered, are major contributors to CO2 emissions. The study evaluates alternative technologies, encompassing a range of innovative solutions such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, hydrogen internal combustion engine trucks, and trucks powered by synthetic diesel (e-diesel), low-GHG biofuels like hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), and bio-compressed natural gas (bio-CNG).

The key findings indicate a significant shift in the heavy-duty vehicle sector by 2030, with battery electric trucks poised to become the most cost-effective solution for decarbonisation. This transition marks a pivotal move away from the industry’s traditional reliance on diesel. Hydrogen fuel-cell trucks are also expected to gain economic viability, reaching TCO parity with diesel trucks by the mid-2030s.

However, the study reveals that trucks running on alternative fuels such as HVO, e-diesel, and bio-CNG, along with hydrogen combustion engine trucks, will likely struggle to compete economically with zero-emission and diesel vehicles before 2040.

The report delves into the future market development for truck technologies and fuels in Europe, emphasising that their economic performance will be a crucial determinant. The detailed assessment of TCO for various truck classes, equipped with different powertrains and fuels, is instrumental in understanding the dynamics of Europe’s transition to a greener heavy-duty vehicle sector.

Importantly, the study highlights the role of stringent EU CO2 standards in driving the growth of alternative truck technologies. These standards are not only reshaping the technological landscape but are also key in influencing market dynamics and investment decisions within the industry.

Furthermore, the report underscores the importance of supportive policy frameworks in steering the heavy-duty vehicle industry towards sustainable practices. This includes the need for incentives and infrastructure development, particularly for the proliferation of battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks. It also emphasises the role of research and development in advancing these technologies to ensure they are not only environmentally friendly but also economically competitive.

Source: A total cost of ownership comparison of truck decarbonisation pathways in Europe | the ICCT

Source: A total cost of ownership comparison of truck decarbonisation pathways in Europe | the ICCT
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