Low Emissions Fuels and Vehicles

The challenge of calculating emissions from alternative energy sources

More and more governments and companies are setting climate targets. Road freight transportation, alternative fuels or electric vehicles can be an effective strategy to reduce emissions.

However, calculating emissions can be difficult, and it is often unclear what ‘low’ or ‘zero’ emissions really means. How to consider the full life-cycle, such as electricity generation or the production of hydrogen or LPG? What are the specific factors for electricity in different countries or for different types of biofuels? How to deal with blended fuels?

A new project aims to clarify terms and definitions used, and make emissions calculations more consistent and reliable.

Fuel types


What will the project deliver?

  • Overview of what exists: studies, guidelines and tools to get an insight in the different energy sources used for freight vehicles and how emissions are calculated.

  • A business perspective: understanding of experience of companies, the barriers they face in determining emission reductions, and what information and guidance they need to do this more accurately.
  • Calculation method for electric freight vehicles CO2e emissions, in accordance with the GLEC Framework, the universal method for calculating emissions across the multi-modal supply chain. It can be used by tool providers to determine the Total Emissions of Ownership (TEO) of CO2e in addition to the existing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Proposed development of guidelines to calculate emissions for alternative energy sources for freight vehicles as a supplement to the GLEC Framework for the use of alternative energy sources for freight vehicles, including Structure of guidelines, terms and definitions and required information to calculate emissions.
  • Process to fully develop and test the guidelines. This is comparable to the process in which the GLEC Framework was prepared: based on an outline, a detailed method was drawn up with companies, industrial associations, programs and experts; followed by consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and testing by a few companies; and publication and communication.

More information

Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles for Road Freight: introductory guide to support the transition to zero emissions Smart Freight Centre's new guidance, written with support from the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO). An Executive Summary is also available here.

Action towards Climate-friendly Transport (ACT)
is a global coalition of over 100 organizations aiming to catalyse transport as an enabler of sustainable development in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Component 3, led by the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, supports the creation of a mass market for zero-emission freight vehicles by increasing their global demand through commitments made by governments, cities and private companies.

Find out more

Do you want further information about this project? Get in touch.