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Redefining long-haul transport: innovations for reliable, efficient and zero-emission transport


Redefining long-haul transport: innovations for reliable, efficient and zero-emission transport

By demonstrating real-world applications of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) across Europe, the ZEFES project is a catalyst for the decarbonisation of long-haul freight transport.

To increase their operational range and become reliable alternatives for transport operators, these types of vehicles must become more affordable and efficient, especially in terms of the impact of the technology weight on load capacity and vehicle autonomy.

EU-wide testing of BEVs and FCEVs must be conducted to ensure interoperability and compatibility between various Member States and to improve operational viability within the existing road transport legislative framework. Flexible and abundantly equipped stopping points and new charging concepts are also needed.

Additionally, fleet managers will require novel tools to access better information on zero-emission vehicles in logistics operations, such as predictive maintenance and eco-driving, logistics planning, charging and refuelling along routes, and access to road and traffic information.


Funded by the European Union

This project has received funding from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership under Grant Agreement No 101101446. The content of this presentation reflects only the author’s view. This partnership receives support from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation Programme.

IRU's role

IRU has been involved in the project from the very beginning. Our focus is to identify business needs by engaging with transport operators and other stakeholder groups.

IRU is obtaining data from road freight operators to build better and more dynamic virtual models (digital twins) and validate calculations of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

We are also assisting with identifying the legal and administrative needs of the project to obtain type approval and operating permits in several EU Member States.

The project has 40 partners from all over Europe, including original equipment manufacturers such as Volvo, Renault, Scania, Hyundai and Ford Otosan.

Project results

ZEFES will help to pave the way for long-haul BEVs and FCEVs to become more reliable options for a wider range of goods transport operations.

The project will also map out flexible and abundant charging/fuelling points and new charging concepts, as well as create fleet management tools to support the rising number of long-haul BEVs and FCEVs in logistics supply chains.


Start date:

40 partners from 12 countries will work on the project, which is coordinated by VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Visit the project website