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A row of lorries parked up

Powering European Union Net Zero Future By Escalating Zero Emission HDVs And Logistic Intelligence


Clean Hydrogen Partnership (Horizon Europe)


Oliver Curnick


1 January 2023 - 30 June 2026


In line with the European 2050 targets, the EU-funded ESCALATE project aims to demonstrate highly efficient zHDV powertrains for long-distance applications, providing a range of 800km without refuelling/recharging and covering at least 500km in average daily operation under real-world conditions.

During the project, five pilots, five digital twins and five TCO case studies will be conducted and their environmental impact will be assessed via TranSensusLCA.

The ultimate goal is to develop innovative modular building blocks based on a business model for three types of zHDVs.


Heavy-duty vehicles account for about 25% of EU road transport, CO2 emissions and about 6% of total EU emissions. In line with the Paris Agreement and Green Deal targets, Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 setting CO2 emission standards for HDVs (from August 14, 2019) forces the transition to a seamless integration of zero-emission vehicles into fleets. In line with the European 2050 goals, ESCALATE aims to demonstrate high-efficiency zHDV powertrains (up to 10% increase) for long-haul applications that will provide a range of 800km without refueling/recharging and cover at least 500km average daily operation (6+ months) in real conditions.

ESCALATE will achieve this by following modularity and scalability approach starting from the β-level of hardware and software innovations and aiming to reach the γ-level in the first sprint and eventually the δ-level at the project end through its 2 sprint-V-cycle.

ESCALATE is built on the novel concepts around 3 main innovation areas, which are:

  • Standardised well-designed, cost effective modular and scalable multi-powertrain components;
  • Fast Fueling & Grid-friendly charging solutions; and
  • Digital Twin (DT) & AI-based management tools considering capacity, availability, speed, and nature of the charging infrastructures as well as the fleet structures.

Throughout the project lifetime, 5 pilots, 5 DTs and 5 case studies on TCO (with the target of 10% reduction), together with their environmental performance via TranSensusLCA will be performed.

The ultimate goal is to develop well-designed modular building blocks with a TRL7/8 based on business model innovations used for 3 types of zHDVs {b-HDV,f-HDV,r-HDV}. Furthermore, 3 white papers will be produced, one of which will contribute defining the pathway for reducing well-to-wheel GHG emissions from HDVs based on results and policy assessments.

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