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Optimisation of heavy duty vehicles for alternative fuels use
Deadline: 01 Feb 2017   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Horizon 2020

 Energy Efficiency
 Sustainable Development
 Urban Development
 Climate Sciences

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The EU has a strong dependence on diesel, particularly for operating heavy duty vehicles (HDV). The use of alternative fuels in internal combustion engines could reduce this dependence in the short and medium term as well as achieve a significant level of GHG and pollutants emission reduction. Several gaseous and liquid alternatives could be appropriate fuels for trucks running over short, medium and long distances. The specific challenge is to optimise and develop new powertrains (engine / exhaust after treatment systems) for heavy duty vehicles running on alternative fuels with the perspective of achieving higher efficiency and lower pollutant emissions compliant with Euro VI standards and meeting CO2 emission targets under discussion.


Proposals should focus on one or several of the following fuel options:

―Bio-methane mixed into liquefied natural gas: LNG is an attractive option to mitigate the high dependence of HDV on diesel. However, to achieve a significant level of GHG emission reduction, it is essential to shift from natural gas to bio-methane. Proposals should consider the results of the LNG Blue Corridors projects and other projects funded by the EU under the European Green Vehicles Initiative.

―Biofuels ED95 and B30: the use of E95 (95 % ethanol and 5% ignition improver) and B30 (30% Biodiesel and 70% of diesel) for HDV could reduce the EU dependence on diesel. E95 has been already been demonstrated in urban fleets but could be an appropriate fuel for trucks running over short and medium distances. Proposals should contribute to the transition from the 1st to the 2nd generation of such biofuels.

Proposals should focus on the following specific objectives:

―Optimise and develop new powertrains (engine/after treatment systems) for the use of alternative fuels in HDV.

―Evaluate energy efficiency, costs, performance, environmental benefits and durability of HDV running on alternative fuels.

Proposals should include prototype validation of the new vehicles. A small demonstration should be carried out to assess the energy efficiency and the environmental and economic benefits of the trucks running in real conditions.

Proposals should provide recommendations for the development of relevant standards, in particular for fuel quality requirements and for the type-approval of the heavy duty vehicles.

When biofuels are considered by proposals, they should be included in the assessment of sustainability and demonstrate compliance with sustainability criteria as specified in the article 17 of the Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 10 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions will contribute to climate action and sustainable development objectives by the following achievements:

―Oil substitution through the use of alternative fuels.

―Reduction of GHG and pollutant emissions from transport using sustainable renewable fuels in heavy duty vehicles. In particular, polluting emissions below Euro VI with a Conformity Factor of 1.2 in real driving will be demonstrated.

―Market development for heavy duty vehicles running with sustainable renewable fuels.

The demonstration part of actions will help to improve the knowledge and general awareness of the alternative fuel as appropriate for short, medium or long distance road transport. Actions will also serve to remove the existing barriers for heavy duty vehicles running on renewable fuel.

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