Fossil-free charging and refilling network costs as much as 40km of highway

A network of low-carbon charging and filling stations is necessary to ensure the transition to new energy sources and reduce emissions from heavy transport. THEMA, on behalf of the Green Land Transport Programme, estimates the costs of such a network to be NOK 8–13 bn. The transition will be time-consuming and should start now.

Kostnaden for fossilfritt lade- og fyllenettverk tilsvarer 40 km motorvei

Norway’s national climate targets imply emissions reductions of at least 50% by 2030. It is expected that a substantial share of these reductions will be realised in road transport. So far, a lot has happened on personal transportation. However, progress on heavy-duty transport is lagging. If all 70 000 trucks in Norway switch to renewable energy, emissions could be cut by 2.8 million tCO2eq.

To transition trucks to low or zero-emission technologies, a fossil-free charging and refilling infrastructure is required. To avoid a “chicken and egg” problem, this infrastructure should come first and lead the way for the production of hydrogen, biogas and electric trucks. Absent this fossil-free charging and refilling infrastructure, the transition will be delayed.

On behalf of the Norwegian Green Land Transport Programme, THEMA calculated the costs of establishing a minimal network of fossil-free charging and filling infrastructure out to 2030 and 2040. The costs of a minimal nationwide network are estimated to be between 8 and 13 billion NOK. This may sound like a big number but is roughly equivalent to the costs of widening the existing E6 route between the towns of Moelv and Øyer from two to four lanes.

Establishing a nationwide network implies extensive work, but is necessary. To achieve this end, we need to:

  • Establish economic support schemes to build early-phase infrastructure – infrastructure availability is a prerequisite for transportation companies to choose fossil-fuel alternatives.
  • Establish economic support schemes to build the infrastructure in an early phase – the infrastructure must be available for the transportation companies to choose a different fuel than fossil fuels.
  • Prepare a comprehensive spatial plan for charging and filling stations close to transport hubs and along the main transport corridors.

The report can be read (in Norwegian) on the website of the Norwegian Green Land Transport Program.

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