News Item

How-to Guide on Zero-Emission Zones for Freight launched


Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment of The Netherlands and Chair of TDA, launched the How-to Guide on 3 December 2020, during her keynote speech at the Urban Mobility Green Deal-Makers Summit during the 2020 POLIS Annual Conference.

Zero-emission zones for freight (ZEZ-Fs) can help cities decarbonise, clean the air, reduce congestion, improve environmental justice, increase efficiency of deliveries and more. They are part of the solution to creating greener, more equitable and liveable cities. The guide explains the advantages of ZEZ-Fs in and around cities, and introduces strategies for developing urban ZEZ-Fs drawing from the experience of pioneering cities including London, Shenzhen, Santa Monica and Rotterdam. It provides a transparent assessment of challenges and opportunities, as well as advice from those cities about effective approaches.This report has been prepared by the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance of countries cities/regions and companies, C40 Cities, and the POLIS network of European cities and regions cooperating for innovative transport solutions and it includes contributions of Henning Günter and Jakob Rupprecht of Rupprecht Consult.Highlights from the report:
  • While urban freight produces an outsize share of air pollution and CO2 emissions, few cities and countries have developed a vision for zero-emission operations specifically for the freight sector.
  • Devising a ZEZ for freight is a complex process involving many stakeholders. Owners and operators of freight vehicles range from multinational companies to sole-proprietor shops, and from tradespeople to professionals providing repair and maintenance services.
  • Understanding the interests and concerns of the many stakeholders is key to enabling collaboration and devising effective rules and incentives regulating ZEZ-Fs.
  • Preferencing zero-emission freight vehicles in zone accessibility, time-windows, and through subsidies and other incentives can help jumpstart the market for zero-emission freight vehicles and hasten the overall transition to zero-carbon transport.
  • Charging infrastructure for zero-emission freight vehicles can be a major hurdle. A coherent strategy needs to be developed cooperatively with logistics and charging-infrastructure operators and the public sector.
  • Comprehensive data on freight vehicles, their routes and types of use is essential to designing a successful ZEZ-F. Since the data typically comes from the private operators, cities are developing innovative methods and incentives for information sharing.
  • Well-designed ZEZ-Fs encourage more efficient logistics (reducing the number of trips); a better mix of transport modes (e.g. using shared cargo bikes or light electric vehicles for the last mile of delivery); and a transition of the remaining vans and trucks to zero-emission.
  • Policies may need to be aligned across different levels of government and neighbouring districts or even countries. Cities often lack the jurisdiction to regulate a zero-emission zone. And many companies operate across multiple cities and neighbouring countries — so common approaches allow them to plan and invest with greater confidence.

Further Information

Henning Günter

+49 221 6060 55 13


[1] How-to Guide Zero-Emission Zones

Zero Emission Zones How-to Guide