Solutions For A Greener Swiss Trucking Industry

David Acuna ’23, Jacob Mitchell ’23, Ha Nguyen ’23, Toni Vigliott ’23

Nancy Burnham, Francesca Bernardi; Sponsor Organization: Designwerk

Climate change is a major concern around the globe, and the diesel-fueled freight industry is a significant polluter. Switzerland, one of the 196 countries that signed The Paris Agreement, promised to reduce the reliance of its economy on the burning of fossil fuels and the usage of nuclear power, replacing them with more renewable sources of energy. The goal of the project was to create a road map toward zero-emissions in the Swiss long-haul freight transport industry. 

The needs of major stakeholders (truck manufacturers, electricity suppliers, fleet owners, and operators) of the freight industry were surveyed through online interviews. The team also conducted a literature review of zero-emission technology. This research revealed two significant drawbacks of owning an electric fleet: range and charging time. Price was also a concern.

• The Swiss government must invest in infrastructure by adding chargers and improving the electrical grid. It should also offer private companies funding assistance to research battery and charging technology, using revenue raised from taxes on diesel trucks and fuel. 
• The government should assist businesses transitioning to new technologies with joint educational conferences to help train the workforce to adapt to alternative-fuel infrastructures.
• Freight policies should favor zero-emission operations. 
• Despite the current limitations, truck manufacturers should continue its research into batteries and charging technology.
• Future project: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis for switching to alternative fuel sources, which would give fleet owners a better understanding of the investment they are making and aid in their transition between technologies.

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