Electric trucks won’t be competitive until at least 2025

Pure battery electric vans and trucks and trucks prepared to make use of electric roads will not be competitive compared to internal combustion vehicles until 2025, while in the case of fuel cell vehicles, competitiveness would not arrive until 2030 , according to an analysis carried out by Cambridge Econometrics and presented by the European Federation of Transport and Environment (Transport & Environment) in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

While the report acknowledges that a rapid transition to powertrains based on zero-emissions technologies can “very substantially” reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the road freight fleet, to ensure compliance with the goal of climate neutrality in 2050 for this sector it will not be enough to ensure the end of the sale of vans with internal combustion engines in 2035 and of trucks with this technology in 2040, but it will be necessary to establish an advance of these dates or additional measures focused in the anticipated reduction in the use of this type of polluting vehicle.

At this point, the analysis suggests accelerating the deployment of high-power recharging infrastructure for zero-emission trucks and starting “immediately” the planning process for said infrastructure so as not to encounter bottlenecks in the deployment of charging points. recharge in the second half of this decade.

“It will not be possible to achieve the total decarbonisation of freight transport without committing to zero-emission technologies in trucks and vans,” warns the head of freight transport policies at T&E, Carlos Bravo.

Likewise, Bravo regrets that in Spain there is a great gap between the current policies and those that would be adequate to provide the sector with a coherent trajectory to achieve this objective.

In fact, the report maintains that in Spain, the transport sector is the one that contributes the most to greenhouse gas emissions (29.1% of the total in 2019, according to official data), being attributable to the transport of goods by road. 9.8% of the national total. That is why, with current policies, Spain would not achieve the total decarbonisation of road freight transport in 2050, according to the study.

The Cambridge Econometrics report highlights that conventional internal combustion engine vehicles will become less and less competitive over their lifespan compared to their electric equivalents, with the likely result that carriers will bet less and less on them.

On their side, the main uncertainty to be able to determine a possible advance in time of the results of the study with respect to the different scenarios, is the greater or lesser speed with which the technologies (batteries, electric road systems and fuel cells ) and fuels (green hydrogen) with zero carbon emissions may fall in cost, as well as the evolution of the expected increase in the cost of fossil fuels (diesel, gasoline, natural gas), now triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine , used by vehicles with an internal combustion engine.

That is why T&E underlines that adequate regulation at European and state level “is crucial” to move quickly and safely on the path of decarbonising road freight transport.

At this point, Carlos Bravo has defended that the discussion of the current Draft Law on Sustainable Mobility opens in Spain “a wide range of possibilities for improvement in this area”.

Finally, the federation has proposed setting an ambitious interim CO2 target of at least 30% by 2027 and “significantly” increasing the 2030 CO2 reduction target, in order to ensure a significant reduction in emissions across the globe. market before then and ensure that the supply of zero-emission vehicles is increased already in the 2020s.

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