Our work

Making transport more sustainable by means of electric vehicles

TNO is working on answering questions from the Topsector Logistiek, the Dutch government and the European Commission about making transport more sustainable by means of electric vehicles. TNO provides insight into this question by analysing the entire vehicle chain, cost and environmental aspects, performing measurements and developing models.
For example:

Passenger cars

  • TNO calculates the CO2 pros and cons of electric driving compared to driving petrol or diesel cars. Within the framework of the IEA Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (HEV) Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP), we have developed a model for this. In the report we describe the influence of a number of factors on the CO2 benefits or drawbacks of electric driving: the size of the car, the use (city/off-road/highway) and the kilometres covered, but also the battery size, the battery chemistry and the degree of recycling of the battery and the vehicle.
  • TNO uses its knowledge of practical emissions to compare the life cycle of different types of vehicles. This comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from conventional passenger cars, electric and semi-electric cars shows that the emissions from an electric mid-range car are low compared to those from a petrol or diesel-powered mid-range passenger car (with the same lifetime).
  • In addition to research into greenhouse gas emissions, we also analyse other environmental aspects related to electric driving, such as emissions of air pollutants, scarcity of materials and safety.
  • From research with European partners (2015 - 2017) on decarbonising the passenger car fleet in Europe, we show that a transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet in 2050 will result in a reduction in cumulative CO2 emissions of 2.2 gigatons in 2020 to 3.9 gigatons in 2050 (compared to existing EU targets).

Electric vans

For some years now, the proportion of electrically powered vehicles has also been increasing for vans. For Connekt, we analyse the new sales and second-hand market, make a forecast of the growth and propose policy directions to accelerate the growth of the share of zero-emission delivery vans. The cautious conclusion is that there will be an increase from 100,000 electric vans in 2025 to 200,000 in 2030. Read more about what still needs to be done to achieve this in the report Elektrische bestelauto’s in Nederland’.

Electric trucks and buses

  • In view of the preparations for CO2 standardisation of trucks at European level, TNO has supported the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the development of a formal Dutch position. In addition to potential and cost estimates for savings measures on conventional (internal combustion engine) vehicles, a technical and economic feasibility analysis of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles was also carried out. For more information, see the report Assessments with respect to the EU HDV CO2.
  • In the European project 'Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE )', commissioned by the European Commission, TNO investigated the feasibility of urban electric transport and demonstrated the feasibility of good urban logistics with electric vehicles. However, the range is more limited than that of comparable diesel vehicles and, in particular, the heavier electric vehicles have a higher total cost of ownership.

Current programmes

  • The FLEX EV consortium, of which TNO is a part, received a subsidy of 1.9 million euros from the DKTI-Transport subsidy scheme for the realisation of an innovative fast-charging square on the south side of Rotterdam. This is an important step towards achieving emission-free parcel transport in and around the Rotterdam city centre.
  • Another consortium, supported by DKTI-Transport, is 'Feasibility of Zero Emission City Logistics Rotterdam'. TNO will work together with DPD on investigating how DPD can supply the city of Rotterdam with emission-free products as efficiently as possible.

Read more

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