Öko-Institut sees future of road freight transport clearly in battery drives

In a research project, the Freiburg, Germany-based Öko-Institut has evaluated various types of drive for road freight transport »in terms of their technical and economic potential.« Assuming that a comprehensive and efficient charging network is available by 2035, trucks with battery drive clearly outperform those with fuel cells (hydrogen) or trolley vehicles. This is true »even with conservative assumptions on technical conditions such as potential driving ranges and available recharging options.« Compared to diesel drives, battery-powered trucks would have a cost advantage as soon as the surcharge of €200 ($218) per ton of CO2 planned for December 2023 is levied on the truck toll.
The study estimates the total energy demand for heavy-duty freight transport in Germany at 110 terawatt hours (TWh) annually, which represents a significant reduction due to the far higher efficiency compared to the current consumption of 173 TWh by diesel trucks. Nevertheless, this amount of energy poses a major challenge for the charging infrastructure, especially along highways. Around 2,000 megawatt charging system (MCS) connected to the high-voltage grid and around 40,000 for charging vehicles parked overnight (night charging systems, NCS) would be required.

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