Road freight transportation accounts for around 8% of global CO2 emissions per year — 2.9 Gt CO2. Countries are increasing their efforts to decarbonise this sector. Among the options being considered, fleets of electric trucks are attracting more attention due to the availability of clean and low-cost renewable electricity. However, the pathway for the development and deployment of e-trucks is unclear, where technology, regulatory, financial and policy aspects, covering both transport and energy sectors, need to support country plans. Particularly, the implications of a rapid uptake of e-trucks for electricity systems need to be better understood. The aim is to identify strategies that minimise any potential risk for the electricity system while maximising the benefits for the road freight and renewable power sectors.

The Pentalateral Energy Forum — Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland — as a front runner in implementing ambitious climate strategies, discussed the role of electric trucks in decarbonising the transport sector and the nexus between the energy and road freight sectors. IRENA, the Benelux Secretariat – Pentalateral Forum, Transport & Environment and ChargePoint, organised a virtual event ‘Which future for heavy-duty vehicles in the Penta region? Integrating electromobility in the energy transition’, with the aim to foster cross-border and cross-sector — transport and energy — cooperation on heavy-duty vehicles (HDV).

The virtual conference was moderated by H.E. Claude Turmes, Minister for Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg. The event featured four panels with experts, on the following topics: charging infrastructure, financial models & public incentives, HVD and power systems integration, and the EU legal framework. The speakers represented organisations and ministries including the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, Luxembourg; Ministry of Economic Affairs – Penta Presidency; International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Volvo Group; DHL Express; ChargePoint; e-Mobility Solutions Development; DPD Switzerland; CALSTART (California); European Commission; ENTSO-e; ELES; Elaad; Stromnetz Hamburg; California Public Utilities Commission; Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management; and Benelux Secretariat