Measuring energy efficiency progress in heavy duty vehicles

Part of Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.

What is the aim of this project?

This project demonstrates progress in improving the energy efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles – and estimates future progress – by using the best available data from the state-of-the-art vehicles. The information generated can be used by transport companies and transport service procurement, and to inform transport policy. The project provides a basis for understanding the performance of today’s best available diesel and alternative-fuelled vehicles, while estimating the potential of new heavy-duty transport technologies between now and 2030.

How could this technology be explained to a high-school student?

Various types of heavy-duty vehicles are tested in the laboratory and on the road, and their energy consumption is simulated. Participating laboratories use common test protocols for vehicle testing, and both energy consumption and tailpipe emissions are measured. Energy efficiency and CO2 emissions are evaluated on a “well-to-wheel” basis – measuring the environmental impact right through from extraction of the energy source (oil) to its use in the vehicle.

What is the value of this project for society?

  • measures the emissions and efficiency of state-of-the-art heavy-duty vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE)
  • suggests possible fuel options for ICE powered heavy-duty vehicles
  • recommends actions for meeting climate targets for heavy-duty vehicles 

At what stage of development is this project?

The project began in 2018 and is expected to run until October 2020.  

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • implementing regulations for ICE-powered heavy-duty vehicles
  • implementing regulations for fuels used in road transport
  • setting climate and air quality targets for heavy-duty vehicles.

Heavy duty truck. Photo: AMF TCP


  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Swedish Transport Administration
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • LEVO (Organisation for the Promotion of Low Emissions Vehicles)
  • KATECH (Korea Automotive Technology Institute)
  • Ministry of Energy of Chile


  • Funded by the participating countries: Canada, Chile, Finland, Japan, Republic of Korea and Sweden.  

Learn more

About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Motor Fuels (AMF TCP)

The AMF TCP brings stakeholders from different continents together for pooling and leveraging of knowledge and research capabilities in the field of advanced and sustainable transport fuels.