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The Impact of Fuel Cell Electric Freight Vehicles on Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions: The Case of Italy


The Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan promotes, among its many actions, the use of hydrogen by the deployment of refuelling stations for heavy-duty vehicles, predicting a 5–7% penetration rate of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for long-distance freight transport. In this work, the impact of this action on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and consumption was estimated, assuming the plan’s objectives are met. To achieve this aim, a national simulation model of the road freight transport system was implemented, consisting of a graph of the national road network and an inter-provincial origin-destination matrix; the graph was based on data available from OpenStreetMap, while the interprovincial matrix was estimated from the interregional matrix with the use of two linear regression models, one for emitted goods and one for attracted goods. The simulation of the system made it possible to estimate the impact of this action on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption under three different scenarios. From 2025 to 2040, a reduction in CO2 emissions ranging from around 9 to around 16.5 million tonnes was estimated, and a reduction in consumption ranging from around 3 billion to around 5.6 billion litres of diesel. These results show how this action can be seen as one of the bricks contributing to the fight against global warming.

Funding source: This research was partially funded by the research projects E-Mobility and Antifane, co-financed by the European Union, the Italian State and the Campania Region, under the POR Campania FESR 2014–2020, and by the University of Sannio (FRA 2021). Some results were presented at the international conference EURO 2022, Aalto University, Espoo Finland, 3–6 July 2022.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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