Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe

Context of Transport Climate Action

The growth of cities in Europe is providing greater economic, social and cultural opportunities for its citizens. To support this growing demand for goods, services and mobility, cities are however increasingly affected by significant air and noise emissions as well as increasing congestion. Furthermore, city traffic have a large contribution to CO2 emissions.

Eight of Europe’s largest cities aim to demonstrate in the FREVUE project that electric vehicles operating “last mile” freight movements in urban centres can offer significant and achievable decarbonisation of the European transport system. Demonstrators will be deployed in Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Rotterdam and Stockholm. The demonstrators have been designed to ensure FREVUE covers a wide range of urban freight applications that occur across Europe.


FREVUE (Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe) will demonstrate to industry, consumers and policy makers, that electric freight vehicles can be implemented in the urban area.

In the project, over 120 electric freight vehicles will be put to the test of the day-to-day rigors of the urban logistics environment in order to prove that the current generation of large electric vans and trucks can offer a viable alternative to diesel vehicles. The switch to electric propulsion will be combined with state-of-the-art urban logistics applications, innovative logistics management software and well-designed local policies.

The project is supported by logistics companies (TNT, UPS) and European research organisations (such as SINTEF, TNO and Zaragoza Logistics Centre). Partners will produce a detailed White Paper on the feasibility of EV rollout in logistics across Europe, containing best practices aimed at different stakeholders at the end of the project (2017).

The final overarching objective is to encourage the exploitation of these best practice results through a targeted dissemination campaign aimed at decision makers in the logistics industry. To complement this, FREVUE will create a network of “Phase 2” cities to directly share the lessons learned from the demonstrators. These cities are expected to be the first cities to expand the successful concepts developed by FREVUE.


Co-funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the demonstration projects will occur in Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Rotterdam and Stockholm.

The demonstration projects have been designed to ensure the range of conditions that are common across Europe are covered, including:

  • goods deliveries (including food, waste, pharmaceuticals, packages and construction goods)
  • novel logistics systems and associated ICT (with a focus on consolidation centres which minimize trips in urban centres)
  • vehicle types (from small car-derived vans to large 18 tons goods vehicles)
  • climates (from Northern to Southern Europe)
  • diverse political and regulatory settings that exist within Europe


  • The project is expected to result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. The size of the reduction is dependent on the energy mix used in power generation..
  • Switching to electric vehicles will lead to zero-emissions of pollutants (NOx, PM)

Potential for scaling up

The project aims for a Europe wide introduction of electric freight vehicles. Also outside of Europe, many countries and city authorities are considering how to accelerate the take up of electric vehicles by implementing national and city level support programmes.

Selected references




Europe: Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), London (UK), Milan (Italy), Amsterdam & Rotterdam (Netherlands)






Europe, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK, Freight, Technology, Policy, Finance, Partnership, Awareness


Westminster City Council, Gemeente Amsterdam, Gemeente Rotterdam, Stockholms Stad, Oslo Kommune, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Empresa Municipal de Mobilidade e Estacionamento de Lisboa, Comune di Milano.


Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer,

“Following the strategy to promote sustainable Urban Mobility policies, in FREVUE cities will have the opportunity to confirm how electrical freight transport can contribute to cleaner and friendlier cities in the future.”

Oscar Rodrigues, Head Officer for Strategic Planning and Innovation Projects, Lisbon