EMPOWER: Eco-operated, Modular, highly efficient, and flexible multi-POWERtrain for long-haul heavy-duty vehicles.

- Start: 01/01/2023
- End: 31/12/2026
- Total cost: €26,940,811.09
- EU contribution: €18,034,188.00


-      AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Coordinator)
-      IVECO SPA
-      FPT Industrial SPA
-      IFP Énergies nouvelles
-      Politecnico di Torino
-      Lead Tech SRL
-      Villinger GmbH
-      Fundación CIDETEC
-      CT Engineering GmbH
-      GRUBER Logistics S.p.A.
-      Istituto per Innovazioni Tecnologiche Bolzano S.c.a.r.l.
-      Air Liquide France Industrie
-      FPT Motorenforschung AG



The project:

EMPOWER addresses in full the expected outcome and scope of the HORIZON-CL5-2022-D5-01-08 topic by delivering two flexible, modular, and scalable zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (ZE HDV) belonging to the VECTO vehicle group 9 (6×2 rigid trucks), with a gross vehicle weight equal or above 40 tons. One vehicle is powered by a Fuel Cell (FC) system and has a driving range of 750 km, while the other is powered by a battery-electric powertrain, and has a driving range of 400 km. Both vehicles will be delivered at TRL 8 by the end of the project (end of 2026) and are expected to approach the market by 2029. Within its technical activities, EMPOWER will design, implement and deliver the following technology bricks:

  1.     A modular vehicle system architecture.
  2.     A modular high voltage architecture.
  3.     A modular low-voltage E/E architecture.
  4.     A FC system with high reliability and extended operational lifetime with a modular energy storage.
  5.     A highly efficient e-axle.
  6.     An optimised thermal- and energy management.
  7.     An optimised HVAC system featuring CO2 as refrigerant and infrared heating panels.
  8.     An electrified distributed braking system.
  9.     Digital twin models of the demonstrators.
  10.   An innovative Human Vehicle Interface for optimised control of the vehicle systems, featuring Vehicle-to-Grid communication and eco-routing.
  11.   A fleet management system for the integration of ZE HDV into the fleet.
  12.   An overall LCA and TCO assessment.
  13.   The operation of a green hydrogen infrastructure for ZE HDV.

It will also demonstrate the driving range and real-world operation performance of the two ZE HDV in five different long-haul and regional distribution use-cases, including cross-border corridors between different European member states. The modular and scalable EMPOWER technology is transferable to VECTO vehicle groups 4, 5, and 10, and it is designed to achieve the total cost of operation parity against the conventional 2020 baseline diesel truck by 2030, targeting a production volume above 10,000 vehicles/year.

CIDETEC's role in the project:

CIDETEC will contribute to different technical tasks. CIDETEC will: 

-      Support the balance of plant, specially with regards to the battery.
-      Support the battery simulation and modelling through CFD analysis.
-      Develop BMS functionalities to enhance the battery use.
-      Perform cell-, module- and pack level battery testing including BMS in combination with HIL set-up and fast aging tests.
-      Work on driver assistance control for optimal exploitation of the battery while driving.
-      Analyse the suitability of any charging operation prioritizing cost, operation and availability.
-      Contribute to the charging and driving strategies by embedding the medium/long term consequences in the battery.
-      Contribute to both dissemination activities and project management.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s HORIZON EUROPE research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101096028.