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The Use of Hydrogen for Traction in Freight Transport: Estimating the Reduction in Fuel Consumption and Emissions in a Regional Context


The Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) includes, among other measures, investments in hydrogen vehicle refuelling stations, intending to promote the use of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for long-haul freight transport. This paper evaluates the impact that this action could have on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, focusing on a case study of the Campania region. The proposed approach, which can also be transferred to other geographical contexts, requires the implementation of a freight road transport simulation model; this model is based on the construction of a supply model, the estimation of road freight demand, and an assignment procedure for computing traffic flows. This study covers the period from 2025 to 2040, according to the forecasts of the NRRP and some assumptions on the action effects; moreover, it is assumed that hydrogen is entirely produced from renewable sources (green hydrogen). The key findings from three different scenarios show that savings between 423,832 and 778,538 tonnes of CO2 , and between 144 and 264 million litres of diesel could be obtained.

Funding source: This study was partially funded by the research projects A-Mobility: Technologies for Autonomous Vehicles (CUP B32C18000200005) and C-Mobility: Technologies for Connected Vehicles (CUP B32C18000240007), co-financed by the European Union, the Italian State and the Campania Region, under the POR Campania FESR 2014–2020, Priority Axis 1 “Research and Innovation”. In particular, the transport simulation model was, in part, developed within these research projects.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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