How can a high-emission sector such as logistics be put on a lower-emission or even emission-free footing? This project is so big that it has to be solved at European level. And as Gruber Logistics, we are fully involved there with our expertise.

Within the political framework of the European “Green Deal”, which aims to make Europe the first CO2-neutral continent, the key project ZEFES (Zero Emissions flexible vehicle platform with modular powertrains serving the long-haul Freight Eco System) has been created for the transport sector. In this EU project with a budget of 40 million euros, 40 partners from 14 different nations are working on simulating and demonstrating the feasibility of zero-emission long-distance heavy goods transportation. The tests are being carried out with BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) and FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles).

At Gruber Logistics, we carry out tests for the FCEV sector. Although no real FCEVs will be used in the first step, but diesel vehicles, we are collecting important data together with our cooperation partners on a defined Brenner route, which forms the so-called “baseline” for later tests. These measurements on the Brenner route have been running since the end of February 2023 and should be completed within 2-3 months.

The cooperation partners mentioned are the Fraunhofer Institute, which has developed a device and an API for high-precision data collection in fractions of a second, RICARDO and TNO, which calculate the baseline from the collected data, and Scania. In contrast to other tests that obtain data via OMEs or use unreliable mobile communications for data transmission, our test can be counted on to deliver high-quality data thanks to its sophisticated execution. The data is then used to evaluate the test criteria defined by ZEFES of increased efficiency, mass production capability and the use of the technologies in everyday use. In addition, Gruber Logistics is already using this data for current and future real prototypes.

The ZEFES project has been running since January 2023 and is scheduled to end after three and a half years. The results of the project will then be used both to better assess the suitability of FCEVs in real-world operation and to promote the acceptance of zero-emission vehicles. Although the entire investigation period is not yet over, one thing is already clear: For logistics companies, the use of modular vehicles will lead to cost savings on the one hand and open up new business opportunities on the other.

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