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500,000 trucks could go electric in EU by 2030

With the deployment of 40,000 e-truck chargers at Europe’s freight movement ‘hotspots’, more than half a million road freight vehicles could be battery powered by 2030, according to a new report.

The deployment of 40,000 e-truck chargers at the European Union’s freight movement ‘hotspots’ could enable more than half a million trucks to go electric by 2030, according to a new report published by European clean transport campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E).

The ‘Unlocking Electric Trucking in the EU: recharging in cities’ report argues that the potential of electric commercial vehicles to mitigate climate change and reduce air pollution is commonly underestimated, estimating the investment required in “unlocking the electrification of truck deliveries by 2030” at €28 billion. This compares with the €100 billion spent annually in the EU on road infrastructure.

More than 500,000 electric trucks could be in operation by this date, resulting in a 22% reduction in CO2 relative to the emissions of commercial vehicles in 2017.

“The European Green Deal strategy has omitted zero-emission trucks and the current recovery programmes at national level wrongly assume that the only short-term technology are new efficient diesel trucks. But for most of the urban and regional delivery applications, battery electric trucks are already commercially available, technically and economically attractive, and bring broad environmental benefits – making them the preferred technological pathway for these applications,” it notes.

The report estimates that half of the EU’s total truck activity, in tonne-kilometres, is driven over distances of less than 300 kilometres.

“These trips could be covered today by electric trucks, thanks to new models currently coming to the market with about 300 km range – enough to cover nine trips out of ten,” it says. “But limited supply and lack of charging strategy currently slows down the uptake. It is expected that the range of the electric trucks available will swiftly increase to 500 km, covering about two thirds of kilometres and 19 trips out of 20.”

The analysis finds that targeting the EU’s largest urban areas is “the optimal zero emission freight strategy for the next years”. Based on “a novel methodology”, the report recommends that electric truck adoption and deployment of associated charging infrastructure should be prioritised in 173 medium and large urban areas in the EU, called ‘urban nodes’.

“These urban nodes combine three factors that makes them a perfect focus: They are ‘hotspots’ for freight activity: trips coming to or from the urban nodes make up half of the total EU freight activity (t-km) and 39% of trips; trips include a large share of short journeys: 15% of total freight activity occurs within urban nodes; and they tend to be the areas with the highest air pollution levels related to road vehicles.”

Source: Lloyds Loading List

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