Decarbonizing Medium- & Heavy-Duty On-Road Vehicles: Zero-Emission Vehicles Cost Analysis

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


We simulate adoption and energy consumption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the medium and heavy duty (MD/HD) sector. With continued improvement in ZEV technologies, total-cost-of-driving parity with conventional vehicles is achievable by 2035 for all MD/HD vehicle classes. Two technological solutions – battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are viable in multiple market segments, offering alternative pathways for decarbonization. In this scenario, ZEV sales reach 99+% by 2045 and 42% by 2030. 80% of the MD/HD stock transitions to ZEVs by 2050, reducing CO2 emissions by 69% from 2019. Disparities in adoption rate and vehicle usage between vehicle classes and between short and long-haul applications highlight opportunities for targeted policies (to reduce emissions it is critical to understand what vehicles transition to ZEV, not just how many vehicles). Results are highly sensitive to assumed fuel prices, technology improvement trajectories, adoption decision-making, and assumptions about future freight demand and vehicle use.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages69
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-82081


  • decarbonization
  • heavy duty
  • medium duty
  • TEMPO model
  • total cost of driving
  • trucks


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