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Technology Opportunities and Strategies towards Climate-friendly trAnsport

State of the Art - Background

Transportation is an important growth market for the EU, accounting for about 13% of GDP and providing nearly 20 million jobs. At the same time, it generated 26% of all energy-related EU-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2005, up from 21% in 1990. With ongoing trends toward globalisation and structural economic shift towards services, this share is likely to continue to increase.

As a way of controlling GHG emissions from transportation, the EU has already put several policies in place, including the automobile tailpipe CO2 emission targets, the promotion of biofuels and the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. However, implementing technology policies for reducing GHG emissions can be challenging because technology solutions over both the short and longer term could conflict. For example, overinvestment into further improving the energy efficiency of internal combustion engines over the short term could draw significant funding streams away from still more promising drivetrain technology that may be based upon the hydrogen fuel cell.

This and similar potential trade-offs raise the need for identifying evolutionary technology trajectories that satisfy both time horizons, thus providing efficient technology investments over both the short and long term without compromising one another.


The main objective of the proposed activity is thus to identify the most promising technology and fuel pathways that help reduce passenger and freight transport-related GHG emissions over both the short term (2020) and beyond (2050). To better understand the policy interventions that are necessary to push these (more expensive) technologies and fuels into the market, TOSCA tests a range of promising policy measures under various scenario conditions. The scenario outputs are then evaluated with regard to their technical feasibility, economic affordability, social acceptability and overall likelihood of realisation.

TOSCA includes the following three aims:

- identify the techno-economic potential of critical transport technologies (automobiles, buses, trucks, railways, aircraft and their accommodating infrastructure) and fuels for reducing GHG emissions by 2020 and 2050;

- integrate these technology and cost projections in a carefully stated, limited set of scenarios on the future evolution of the EU transport system;

- apply promising policy measures to each scenario to identify prevailing technology and fuel pathways, and understand their impact on society at large.

Description of Work

TOSCA includes seven technical work packages (WP).

WP1-5 include the technology, fuel and infrastructure studies. WP6 corresponds to the scenario formulation and the GHG emissions estimate in the absence of policy measures. The impact of GHG emission policies on technology and fuel trajectories and the society at large is being identified in WP7.

Given the major policy decisions that are at stake, this project is being conducted jointly by academics, industry, industry and trade associations, policy-makers, NGOs, key participants from relevant existing and former EU projects, and key members of the relevant technology platforms. Therefore a significant role is being attributed to workshops in which these communities interact. To allow an informed discussion, these workshops are supported by focused studies on state-of-the-art technology of transport vehicles, fuels, and infrastructures and their possible future development, on the alternative scenarios on future socio-economic development and transport demand in Europe, and through the integration of these components.

Expected Results

TOSCA is designed to provide a better strategic outlook for the future European transport system in terms of identifying the technological pathways required to meet EU GHG emissions targets, the required policy measures to increase the adoption of these technologies, and the various impacts of these measures.

Ideally, after identifying the most promising technology and fuel pathways, GHG mitigation policies should reinforce the EU's position as a major international player in transport technology development.

Work package dependencies
Work package dependencies