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Cost-effective Technology Choice in a Decarbonized and Diversified Long-haul Truck Transportation Sector: A U.S. Case Study


Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will require accelerated efforts that include decarbonizing long-haul truck transportation. In this difficult-to-decarbonize, low-margin industry, economic transparency on technology options is vital for decision makers seeking to eliminate emissions. Battery electric (BET) and hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks (FCET) can represent emission-free alternatives to diesel-powered trucks (DT). Previous studies focus on cost competitiveness in weight-constrained transportation even though logistics research shows that significant shares of transportation are constrained by volume, and analyze cost only for selected technologies, hence impeding a differentiated market segmentation of future emission-free trucks. In this study, the perspective of a rational investor is taken and it is shown that, under current conditions in the U.S., BETs outperform FCETs in various long-haul use cases despite charging times and cargo deficits, and will further increase their technological competitiveness to DTs. While future energy and fueling prices are decisive for BET competitiveness, the analysis reveals that autonomous driving may change the picture in favor of FCETs.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany

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