Zero-Emission Heavy-Duty Vehicle


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle


Battery Electric Vehicle


Energy- and thermal management


Trans-European Transport Network

About EMPOWER project

Funded by European Commission Horizon Europe framework program through the 2Zero Partnership, EMPOWER stands for “Eco-operated, Modular, highly efficient, and flexible multi-POWERtrain for long-haul heavy-duty vehicles”.

The EMPOWER project aims to develop two flexible, modular, and scalable zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (ZE HDV). One vehicle will be 100% electric for regional deliveries (400 km range), while the other will be a hybrid fuel cell and battery-powered for long-haul distances (750 km range). Both vehicles will undergo a 6-month demonstration at TRL8 on European roads and International corridors, with development led by an experienced consortium of academic and industrial partners from Europe.

Market impact

ZE HDV production secures Green Tech jobs; successful feasibility demonstration spurs European hydrogen infrastructure network expansion.

Enviromental impact

ZEVs reduce fuel consumption, lower GHG emissions, and improve local air quality by displacing conventional HDVs and emitting fewer pollutants.

Social impact

Better local air quality leads to fewer respiratory illnesses, reduced noise disturbance, and increased public visibility of the benefits of EU funding and decarbonization efforts.

Objectives and ambition

EMPOWER aims to deliver two modular ZE HDVs (at TRL 8) for different operations: a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) with a 750 km range for long-haul missions, and a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) with a 400 km range for regional distribution. These vehicles will have a load capacity of at least 90% compared to conventional trucks, ready for market entry in 2029 with a TCO equal to 2020 engine-based solutions. EMPOWER draws from various technology areas to achieve its objectives.

AREA I - Component Design and Modularity

EMPOWER addresses multiple areas, including modular vehicle and low voltage E/E architectures, reliable FC systems with modular energy storage, efficient e-axles, optimized thermal and energy management, advanced HVAC systems, electrified braking, and digital twin models. The modular approach allows for scalability across different vehicle platforms.

AREA II - Integration and Infrastructure

EMPOWER encompasses an innovative Human Vehicle Interface with Vehicle-to-Grid communication and ecorouting capabilities, a fleet management system for seamless integration of ZE HDVs, an overall LCA and TCO assessment, and the operation of a green hydrogen infrastructure for the cross-border demonstration of long-haul ZE HDVs in Europe.

AREA III - Demonstration

EMPOWER Demonstration consists of two stages. Stage 1 demonstrates the maximum driving ranges of the FCEV (750 km) and BEV (400 km) on the Balocco Proving Ground in Italy. In Stage 2, a six-month conclusive demonstration takes place, involving real-world use cases, such as long-haul operations for customers like Barilla and Electrolux, as well as transportation between IVECO's manufacturing sites and logistic hubs.

Our Consortium

The strong and complementary consortium of 14 partners from 5 different countries representing industrial companies, SME, RTOs and academia is coordinated by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.