Truck Study 2020

Making zero-emission trucking a reality


Commercial vehicle makers, suppliers and their partners are under pressure to electrify their truck portfolio in order to comply with environmental regulations. European regulation forces truck manufacturers to reduce their new fleet emissions by at least 30% until 2030. As a result, all stakeholders must start deciding which powertrain technology to adopt and what supporting infrastructure is required.

More transparency on driving emissions is becoming a pre-requisite to a sustainable growth. A closer look at the greenhouse gas emissions in the various truck segments shows that heavy-duty trucks are accountable for roughly 66% of the CO2 emissions in the road freight transport sector in Germany. Hence, their electrification is of highest importance.

Electrification of trucks is an imperative for the next decade

In 2030, more than 30% of all European trucks will be zero-emission.

Zero-emission trucks are the future

Electrification of trucks is an imperative. Zero-emission light-duty trucks become soon cost competitive, while heavy-duty truck applications face the risk of high Total-Cost-of-Ownership.

Multiple technologies compete

For heavy-duty trucks, no zero-emission technology can replace the diesel truck perfectly. While electric traction with Battery and Fuel Cell seem promising alternatives, Catenary appears unattractive due to high infrastructure upfront investments and Synfuels only have a potential for admixture.

Zero-emission trucking can compete on cost

OEMs need to focus on technological development and industrialization of Battery and Fuel Cell trucks. To reach Total-Cost-of-Ownership competitiveness of zero-emission with fossil fueled heavy-duty trucks, different main levers - such as long-life batteries or cheap hydrogen - are required.

Significant market diffusion starting 2025

Sales of electric light-duty trucks gain significant market share already starting from 2025, while zero-emission heavy-duty trucks will diffuse from 2030 onwards.

Four main powertrain technology options exist to decarbonize heavy-duty trucks

However there is no silver bullet to replace fossil diesel in every respect.

Four main powertrain technology options exist to decarbonize heavy-duty trucks

The decade towards zero-emission trucking is arising

Our recommendations for OEMs and suppliers:

Offer attractive zero-emission portfolio

OEMs should focus on competitive zero-emission product portfolio with focus on product cost and efficiencies - from light-duty to heavy-duty trucks. Focus development resources on battery and fuel cell trucks due to their most competitive positioning.

Support infrastructure availability

OEMs need to develop and offer infrastructure options for truck users. Turnkey depot solutions are mandatory, while public infrastructure should be catalyzed through governmental support.

Prepare value chain

Facing declining revenues from conventional powertrain business, suppliers should review their portfolio and assess their opportunities for market entry into the new zero-emission trucking age.

Offer attractive financing

Due to higher prices as well as durability and residual value risks of zero-emission trucks, OEMs should adjust their financing models for logistic companies.

Contact us

Dr. Christian Foltz

Dr. Christian Foltz

Partner, Strategy& Germany

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Dr. Jörn Neuhausen

Director, Strategy& Germany