Powering EU Net Zero Future by Escalating Zero Emission HDVs and Logistic Intelligence

Heavy-duty vehicles account for about 25 % of EU road transport CO2 emissions and about six percent of total EU emissions. In line with the Paris Agreement and Green Deal targets, Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 setting CO2 emission standards for HDVs forces the transition to a seamless integration of zero-emission vehicles into fleets.

In line with the European 2050 goals ESCALATE aims to demonstrate high-efficiency zHDV powertrains (up to ten percent increase) for long-haul applications that will provide a range of 800 km without refueling/recharging and cover at least 500 km average daily operation (at least six months) in real conditions. ESCALATE will achieve this by following modularity and scalability approach starting from the β-level of hardware and software innovations and aiming to reach the γ-level in the first sprint and eventually the δ-level at the project end through its two sprint-V-cycle.

ESCALATE is built on the novel concepts around three main innovation areas, which are:

  1. Standardized well-designed, cost effective modular and scalable multi-powertrain components;
  2. Fast Fueling & Grid-friendly charging solutions; and
  3. Digital Twin (DT) & AI-based management tools considering capacity, availability, speed, and nature of the charging infrastructures as well as the fleet structures.

Throughout the project lifetime, five pilots, five Digital Twins and five case studies on TCO (with the target of ten percent reduction), together with their environmental performance via TranSensusLCA will be performed. The ultimate goal is to develop well-designed modular building blocks with a TRL7/8 based on business model innovations used for three types of zHDVs (b-HDV,f-HDV,r-HDV). Furthermore, three white papers will be produced, one of which will contribute defining the pathway for reducing well-to-wheel GHG emissions from HDVs based on results and policy assessments.



Maximilian Pietruck M.Sc.
+49 241 80 25663

Project duration

01/2023 – 06/2026

Project partner

Advanced Electric Machines Ltd., Ai4Sec OÜ, Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis, Ballard Power Systems Europe AS, BMC, Brussels Research and Innovation Center for Green Technologies, BSA Inno & Tech GmbH, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, Coventry University, DHL Lojistik Hizmetleri A.S., Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V., Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Electra Commercial Vehicles Limited, Engie Energie Services, Ergtech Sp. Zo.o., FEV Europe GmbH, Ford Otomotiv Sanayi Anonim Sirketi, Hydrogen Europe, INEGI, Kempower Oy, Mercedes-Benz Turk AS, Ortem Elektronik A.S., PBX GmbH, POLIS, Primafrio Corporacion, S.A., Oy M. Rauanheimo Ab, Reliability & Safety Technical Centre, RWTH Aachen University, Oy SISU Auto AB, Tekfen Muhendislik A.S., Kuljetus ja muutto O. Jylhä Oy, Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu, University of Surrey, Valmet Automotive EV Power OY, Virtual Vehicle Research GmbH, Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

Project website

Supported by

[Logo: Europäische Union]


Institute for Automotive Engineering
RWTH Aachen University
Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany
+49 241 80 25600

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