Global engineering consulting company Ricardo is currently working on quite an interesting project aimed at creating zero emission, flexible vehicle platforms with modular powertrains serving the long-haul freight ecosystem. The programme, namely ZEFES, is co-funded by the European Commission and brings together five truck and two trailer OEMs. The focus will be on improving efficiencies, mass production capabilities and demonstrating the use of the technologies in daily operations.

According to Ricardo, by 2025, the programme aims to deliver nine different vehicles running over one million kilometres across EU corridors in real daily operations, all guided and validated by a digital platform. Vehicles will carry over 40 tonnes across distances of up to 750 km, to vigorously test electric vehicle (EV) and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) trucks against real world performance and to help understand infrastructure needs.

What’s Ricardo doing within the European project

Ricardo is providing the digital simulation platform for the programme, allowing modelling of a range of vehicle operations and technology over the routes, and validation of test. This data will support the removal of ambiguity of long-term investment decisions for the fleet operators buying new technologies and the local governments making infrastructure decisions.

“This is an important project in supporting the development of zero-emissions in the long-haul freight industry. It will enable OEMs to make informed technology-led strategic decisions to deliver future mobility solutions to the logistics sector. Companies operating in this industry already face considerable challenges from the increasing cost of fuel to the impact of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, technology is supporting them to de-risk. We look forward to continuing to work on the project alongside other consortium members, using our expertise to inform investment decisions”, commented Adrian Schaffer, President of Emerging Mobility at Ricardo.


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