Visitors of the FISITA World Congress 2023 could grasp a sense of innovative technology in road transport while strolling through the exhibition area of the International Barcelona Convention Center. While passing electric cars from Hyundai, manufacturers of low-emission brake pads and sensors, and booths of various OEMs, one could also observe the focus of the congress: innovation in manufacturing and business solutions for the road transport sector. The contribution of NextETRUCK, which was presented by one of our dissemination leaders POLIS Network in cooperation with the SCALE project, gave the event a little twist by focusing on European projects.

The 20 minute-long presentation highlighted all three pilot cases and the future plans of NextETRUCK by highlighting the innovative aspects of each real-world long-term test in our pilot cities of Istanbul, Utrecht and Barcelona. Especially the latter caused interest within the audience, as some participants visited the city as part of the Congress. POLIS Network explained the challenges of the road transport industry to decarbonise and emphasised that a significant majority of goods are transported over short distances on the road, as 73% of all road freight tonnage transported less than 150km. Therefore, the real-world testing of NextETRUCK is providing important research for the decarbonisation of urban road freight transport.

Natural synergies with the EU-funded SCALE project, of which POLIS Network is also a partner, were drawn. SCALE aims to promote the uptake of bidirectional charging and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) solutions, which enables private or public energy providers to utilise BEVs are large batteries to reduce the burden on the grid. The potential of these V2X solutions are tested by SCALE in several real-world use cases within private homes, depots, in offices and the public realm. Similar to NextETRUCK, long-term tests of several months are planned in the near future.

Overall, the presentation during FISITA World Congress allowed NextETRUCK and SCALE to highlight the importance of EU-funded projects that tackle the challenges of electric mobility in urban areas from both perspectives of freight and private passenger mobility, by gathering a wide range of stakeholders to test new BEV technologies, digital solution and draw conclusions for BEV uptake.