Climate neutrality in European heavy-duty road transport_ How to decarbonise trucks and buses in less than 30 years

Climate neutrality in European heavy-duty road transport: How to decarbonise trucks and buses in less than 30 years?

Climate neutrality in European heavy-duty road transport: How to decarbonise trucks and buses in less than 30 years?

Behrang Shirizadeh, Aurélien Ailleret, Clément Cartry, Sébastien Douguet, Torben Gehring, Sezin Maden, Bjoern Mais, Lennart Mross, Julian Theis, Clément Cabot, Manuel Villavicencio, Johannes Trüby

Abstract

The decarbonisation of heavy-duty road transport is subject to many uncertainties regarding fuel choices and the role of efficiency and demand-side measures. Moreover, the various segments of heavy-duty road transport exhibit distinctive characteristics, posing challenges in identifying a one-size-fits-all solution. In a scenario-based analysis with coupled modelling of the European energy system and its endogenous transport demand (driver training, improved logistics and collective mobility) we study the decarbonisation of European heavy-duty road transport through 2050, with a granular representation of its segments in the modelling exercise. Our modelling results show that battery electric vehicles are the key enablers of climate neutrality, representing 60 %–89 % of trucks and 79 %–96 % of buses by 2050. Yet, this important level of electrification, in a climate-neutral Europe, represent at most 4 % (320 TWh) of final electricity consumption. While shifting to electric and hydrogen vehicles brings significant fuel savings (41 %–66 %) and emission reductions (33 %–60 % cumulatively), demand-side operational measures can quickly and cost-effectively complement fuel switching, bringing up to 50 % of cumulative emission savings. The modelling results are highly sensitive to policy assumptions, especially regarding those related to the role of clean hydrogen. This calls for long-term planning with stable and clear signalling of technology choices.

Citation: Shirizadeh B., Ailleret A., Cartry C., Douguet S. et al. (2024) Climate neutrality in European heavy-duty road transport: How to decarbonise trucks and buses in less than 30 years? Energy Conversion and Management, Volume 309

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