Hytruck: Zero-emission urban freight

Context of Transport Climate Action

Urban freight delivery is responsible for 25% of urban transport-related CO2 emissions and 30 to 50% of other transport-related pollutants, including particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). It also accounts for a significant part of ambient noise.

Already, 72% of the 28 European member states’ populations nowadays live in cities, towns and suburbs. It is expected that this will increase to 80% in 20201. Thus urban freight will be an increasingly important traffic component in cities, with estimates projecting an increase of 10 to 15% of vehicle equivalent miles from current levels. The HyTruck range of freight trucks can fulfill this need while limiting emissions and ambient noise.


HyTrucks have a capacity of 12 to 18 tons, which is highly suitable for urban freight delivery: HyTrucks are small enough to operate in inner cities, whilst also large enough to supply a significant number of shops per trip.

Their technical features consist of an electric motor, an inverter and battery. The electric motor is directly connected to the rear axle of the truck and this motor is controlled by an inverter. The battery chargers of 2×44 kW are on-board and the average battery charging time is 5 hours. When the truck brakes, the braking energy can be transformed into electricity via the electric motor (regenerative braking), thus increasing energy efficiency. In addition, two truck models are equipped with electric cooling machines for their refrigerated sections.


HyTruck B.V. is a second-phase builder and the trucks are based on a standard DAF chassis; for example, the 12 ton HyTruck is built on a DAF LF 45 chassis. The company currently has 2 commercially available models: a 19 ton HyTruck with a net load capacity of more than 9 tons and with an electric range of 150 to 200 kilometers per day ( sufficient for urban freight delivery purposes) and a 12 ton HyTruck with a larger battery capacity allowing it to cover 220 to 250 kilometers per day.

hytruck 2

Fig. 1 – HyTruck C12E-160

At the end of 2012, transport companies in the Netherlands received a subsidy from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to buy and deploy electric trucks for urban freight distribution. The recipient companies selected HyTruck to deliver these trucks and the subsidy partly covered the purchase costs involved. A monitoring scheme has been set up which will collect information to be used in facilitating a large-scale implementation of this zero-emission urban freight distribution system.


The tank-to-wheel emissions of the HYTruck are 0 for CO2, NOx, and 0 levels of fine dust (PM10, and PM2.5) are emitted from the powertrain. This clearly means that the full-scale implementation of e-mobility for urban freight in the inner city will substantially reduce the problems of CO2, NOx and PM. There are also significant advantages in lower energy consumption levels, as the HYTruck uses some 60% less fuel per trip than a diesel truck.

Potential for scaling up

Common European policy aims at zero CO2 emissions in cities by 2030; the scaling up of technology to meet this goal can be achieved through national state legislation and also urban authority regulations aimed at improving urban air quality. Legislative and regulatory bodies can also impose financial measures, such as a tax on fossil fuels, to facilitate implementation of zero-emission urban freight delivery by 2030.

Selected references

Urban Freight research roadmap November 2014 Approval: 28 November 2014. Publishing and printing: January 2015 Author: ALICE / ERTRAC Urban mobility WG



Rotterdam, The Netherlands






Netherlands, Freight, Technology, Mitigation


Jan Boudesteijn, Eric Beers and Michel Dekker


Eric Beers eric.beers@b-m-i.nl

“Until now this really was a battlefield. However, we believed in our mission and vision and we continued. Now we start to see success. Our customers have already experienced the positive effect of being a frontrunner. They have new transport customers because they can offer zero emission transport. They all want to increase the number of electric trucks in their fleet and Heineken ordered two new ones for Rotterdam. But they are still experiencing the price gap with the diesel truck. Higher sales numbers will decrease the price and will make it possible to reach the breakeven point with diesel . I’m hopeful about the future. We strongly believe that zero-emission will win.”
- Eric Beers