Daimler Truck, the TRATON GROUP and Volvo Group have announced the signing of an agreement to install and operate a public charging network for heavy-duty long-haul trucks and buses in Europe. The companies say they aim to help accelerate the buildup of charging infrastructure as a means of improving customer confidence in electric vehicles. Establishing a charging infrastructure will also help to support Europe's transition to more climate-neutral forms of transportation.
Lack of charging infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges associated with electric vehicle uptake. By helping establish a network of charging points across, Europe, the three OEMs—all of which are developing electric and other alternatively powered trucks—are doing their part to overcome this challenge.
The three commercial truck OEMs will form a joint venture (JV) which will be equally owned by all three companies. It is expected to begin operation in 2022. Daimler, TRATON and Volvo will together invest 500 million Euros to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charging points states Daimler in its press release announcing the collaboration.
Charging points will be placed close to highways to ease access for truck drivers. They will also be located near logistic and destination points. The goal is to have these charging points in place within 5 years of establishing the JV. Over time, more charging points will be added to the network to expand it further.
According to Daimler's press release, the JV will operate under its own corporate identity and be based in Amsterdam.
More on the JV from Daimler's press release:
The future JV will act as catalyst and enabler for realizing the European Union’s Green Deal for a carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 – both by providing the necessary infrastructure and targeting for green energy at the charging points. The joint action of Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and the TRATON GROUP addresses the urgent need for a high-performance charging network to support truck operators with their transition to CO2-neutral transport solutions, especially in heavy-duty long-distance trucking. High-performance charging infrastructure enabling long-haul trucking is a cost-efficient way towards significant, fast-to-realize emission reductions.
Martin Daum, CEO Daimler Truck: “It is the joint aim of Europe’s truck manufacturers to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. However, it is vital that building up the right infrastructure goes hand in hand with putting CO2-neutral trucks on the road. Together with the TRATON GROUP and Volvo Group, we are therefore very excited to take this pioneering step to establish a high-performance charging network across Europe.”
Matthias Gründler, CEO TRATON GROUP: “For the TRATON GROUP, it is clear that the future of transport is electric. This requires the rapid development of publicly accessible charging points, especially for long-distance heavy-duty transport. We are now moving forward together with our partners Daimler Truck and Volvo Group to make this high-performance network a reality as quickly as possible. We now make the first step to accelerate the transition towards sustainable, fossil free transport. The second step should be a strong engagement of the EU for the full scale-up of a charging network across Europe.”
Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO Volvo Group: “We are laying the necessary foundation in making a break-through for our customers to make the transformation to electrification by creating a European charging network leader. We have powerful electromobility technologies, and now, with Daimler Truck, the TRATON GROUP and thanks to the European Green Deal, also an industry-wide understanding as well as a political environment to make fundamental progress towards sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions.”
A recent industry report is calling for up to 15,000 high-performance public and destination charging points no later than 2025, and up to 50,000 high-performance charging points no later than 2030. Therefore, the kick-start of the partners is a call for action to all other industry players, as well as governments and regulators, to work together for a rapid expansion of the necessary charging network to be able to contribute to reaching the climate targets. As a clear signal towards all stakeholders, the charging network of the three parties will be open and accessible to all commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand.
Customer centric approach taking different applications into consideration
By focusing on customers’ needs, different applications will be taken into consideration. Battery electric vehicle fleet operators will be able to leverage both fast charging tailored to the 45-minute mandatory rest period in Europe focusing on long-distance transport – the highest priority of the future JV – and also charge overnight.
Partners in the joint venture, but competitors in all other areas
Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and the TRATON GROUP will own equal shares in the planned JV, but continue to be competitors in all other areas. The creation of the JV is subject to regulatory and other approvals. The signing of a JV agreement can be expected by the end of 2021.