The impact of fuel cell trucks on the long-distance road freight industry in Europe

  • Ivo Maximilian Hatz (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Heavy-duty vehicles are a major contributor to CO2 emissions in Europe. Today, there are several technological alternatives to decarbonize the industry, one of which is fuel cells. This thesis sought to understand the impact of fuel cell heavy-duty trucks (FC-HDT) on the long-distance road freight industry in Europe in 2031. The results were obtained by conducting expert interviews and analyzing pilot projects, industry reports, press releases, and scientific journals.Compared to heavy-duty trucks with internal combustion engines, the disadvantages of FC-HDTs in areas such as range, infrastructure, and cost outweigh the advantages. However, zero tailpipe emissions can become a decisive advantage if there is stronger regulation of CO2. Therefore, the experts agreed that in the future, only the use of FC-HDTs and battery electric heavy-duty trucks (BE-HDTs) would be a viable option. FC-HDTs, compared with BE-HDTs, currently offer shorter refueling times and longer ranges but are falling behind in terms of costs.A scenario planning approach indicates that FC-HDTs will have moderate adaptation and split the market with BE-HDTs. Scenarios in which FC-HDTs or BE-HDTs became the only prevailing technology were assessed as less likely.
Date of Award19 Oct 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPeter Rajsingh (Supervisor)


  • Fuel cell
  • Fuel cell truck
  • Hydrogen
  • Heavy-duty trucks
  • Road freight industry
  • Scenario analysis


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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