ZEFES project

On this page you can find the project's main objectives, expected outcomes, and facts & figures.

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The ZEFES (Zero Emissions flexible vehicle platforms with modular powertrains serving the long-haul Freight Eco System) project has officially started on the 1st of January 2023. The ZEFES project, which will last for 3,5 years, will contribute to the aims and objectives set out in the Green Deal and 2ZERO partnership, where Europe commits itself to be the first CO2 neutral continent by 2050.

The use of zero tailpipe emission vehicles for long-distance heavy-duty freight transport is an important pathway towards achieving these targets. In this project, such vehicles are Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). The share of BEVs and FCEVs in the HD transport will increase rapidly, giving a share of roughly 25% in 2030. However, the current vehicles have challenges regarding range, available payload, charging/refuelling possibilities, and energy/fuel costs. On those fronts, the current BEV and FCEV are not compatible with the traditional ICE vehicles.

In the ZEFES project, OEMs, suppliers, and research partners will work together towards the overall goal of ZEVs for long distance heavy freight transport, by focussing on efficiency improvements, mass production capabilities and demonstrating the use of the technology in daily operations. This will bring ZEV adoption in the freight transport ecosystem a big step further.

ZEFES Home page photo Volvo Truck 1200×800


Execute real-world demonstrations, multimodal and cross border, of long-haul BEVs and FCEVs across Europe to take zero-emission long-haul goods transport in Europe to the next level.

Create a pathway for long-haul BEVs and FCEVs to become more affordable and reliable, more energy efficient, with a longer range per single charge and reduced charging times able to meet the user’s needs.

Develop technologies which can deliver promised benefits (easy handling, similar driving hours & charging/hydrogen refuelling stations, high speeds, and ability to operate in complex transport supply chains).

Demonstrate an interoperable Megawatt Charging System (MCS) and the location deployment strategy for hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS). Make the mapping of flexible and abundant charging/refuelling points and novel charging concepts.

Create novel tools for fleet management to seamlessly integrate the rising number of long-haul BEVs and FCEVs vehicles in the logistics supply chains, in the form of a Digital Twin.

Expected outcomes

Efficient vehicles demonstrated at least 6 months, with daily routes of up to 1,300 km and possible ranges up to 750 km

Modular vehicles to fit for different missions

Interoperable interface to e- and b-trailers

Common connection for megawatt charging

Digital Platform (Digital Twin and extensive digital tools) integrating real time data

Costs reductions due to technical improvements and modularity in the project

New business cases for logistics, speeding up the deployment of BEVs and FCEVs

Facts and figures

Acronym: ZEFES
Duration: 42 months
Start date: 01-01-2023
Total budget: €39.012.969
EU Funding: €23.195.078


ZEFES is conducting research in the field of BEV and FCEV heavy duty long-haul freight transport, and will disseminate scientific results to peers in the field by means of scientific publications. All relevant publications will be posted on the website.

Project progress

© 2023 ZEFES

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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