Transitioning to climate-friendly bulk transports in urban areas

Load capacity is important when it comes to bulk freight vehicles operating in cities and urban areas. For these types of transports to become fossil-free, battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and vehicles with hydrogen-powered fuel cells can be an alternative.

A survey of the state-of-the-art shows that there are suitable commercial models and types of electric and fuel cell vehicles available, and that more are on their way to the market.

By synthesizing knowledge and experience from studies on heavy bulk transport assignments in urban areas in Stockholm, it is shown that vehicles with alternative fuels or energy storage provide lower greenhouse gas emissions, energy costs and in several cases lower energy consumption than conventional diesel vehicles.

In a comparison, BEV theoretically perform well ​​based on energy, environmental and economic aspects. But the choice of vehicle also needs to take into account the vehicle load capacity. Compared to BEV with heavy batteries, fuel cell-equipped heavier trucks can take on board larger amounts of energy in the form of hydrogen, without affecting the vehicles’ maximum load weight.

To facilitate a transition to electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles, the energy infrastructure, including the location of hydrogen filling stations and charging stations, needs to be designed with movement patterns and driven distances of bulk transports in mind.

Interviews with transport operators show that there is a great need to clarify what the performance, energy consumption, climate impact and the economic conditions look like for the battery-electric powered and hy­drogen fuel cell powered trucks.


Ingrid Nordmark, TFK - TransportForsK


Joachim Andersson and Peter Bark, TFK

Time plan
15 June 2020 - 31 October 2021

Total project cost
750 000 SEK

The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partner organisations, AB Volvo, Parator Industri, Skanska Asphalt and Concrete, The Swedish Association Road of Transport Companies, The Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises, and Vattenfall.

Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program

A focus group with representatives from the co-funding industry companies will contribute to several of the projects' work packages, providing input to e.g. the case studies and analyses.