The NextETRUCK project drafted, disseminated, conducted, and analysed a brief survey aimed (mostly) at local and regional governments and public, private, and non-governmental organisations. The survey, launched at the beginning of March 2023, provides valuable insights into the current state of commercial freight vehicle circulation and parking strategies and the role of commercial freight charging infrastructure in various locations. Additionally, it sheds light on the adoption of emission-related restrictions and the significance of commercial freight charging infrastructure while revealing the knowledge gaps in the mobility, logistics, and transportation sectors.
The survey participants reflect a diverse geographical distribution, with a predominantly Western Europe presence, followed by Southern Europe, Turkey, and global organizations. At least one-third of the participants work in districts with more than one million inhabitants, which emphasizes the urban nature of these areas. Most respondents identified as male, indicating a gender ratio of two-to-one in favour of males and highlighting the need for increased female representation and gender equality in the electromobility and freight sectors.
Regulating commercial freight vehicles
Most of the locations represented in the survey enforce emissions-related restrictions, such as Low Emission Zones (LEZs) and Zero Emission Zones (ZEZs), to regulate and limit the circulation and parking of commercial freight vehicles. These measures are particularly relevant to the NextETRUCK project, as they do not affect the movement of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) for commercial freight. However, some locations also employ strategies based on limited traffic zones, vehicle types, and vehicle characteristics, which impact the circulation and parking of all commercial freight vehicles, regardless of their emission status.
Commercial freight charging infrastructure
Commercial freight charging infrastructure plays a vital role in strategic plans for energy transition, sustainable urban mobility, and climate change mitigation. Over half of the respondents identify it as part of wider strategic plans, such as energy transition plans, Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), and Climate Change Mitigation Plans.
Most locations include commercial freight charging infrastructure requirements in tenders, encompassing aspects like smart charging, use of renewable energy sources, interoperability, vehicle-to-grid charging (V2G), security, privacy, grid integration, and accessibility.
Electricity grid congestion issues and knowledge gaps
The survey highlights electricity grid congestion as a significant concern in most locations, with Western Europe currently experiencing major grid overload issues. However, for many locations, the situation still remains unclear. To address future challenges, many locations make use of prediction tools, rollout plans for AC and DC EV charge points, as well as impact assessments.
Nevertheless, there is a lack of knowledge in areas such as location planning for charging stations, demand predictions, grid constraints, streamlined permitting procedures, and different market models for tendering procedures.
The NextETRUCK survey’s findings emphasize the importance of sustainable practices, including adopting emissions-related restrictions and implementing commercial freight charging infrastructure. By addressing these issues and bridging the knowledge gap through the dissemination of project outcomes, NextETRUCK works towards a more inclusive, efficient, and environmentally conscious future for commercial freight transportation.
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