Three top commercial vehicle manufacturers — Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and TRATON GROUP — now have their eyes on the electric future, and that includes a big-picture view that encapsulates charging. They have reached an agreement to both “install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe.”
A big part of the initiative is simply to make heavy-duty electric transport convenient across Europe, but I thought it was noteworthy that the companies also indicated this partnership was about building “customer confidence.” This is indeed one of the top barriers — if not the top barrier — to quicker electric vehicle adoption in general, and it makes sense that a partnership between three leading commercial vehicle manufacturers would mean much more to customers than statements from the companies individually. Even better that they are focused on charging infrastructure.
“The agreement lays the foundation of a future joint venture (JV) — equally owned by the three parties, planning to start operations in 2022. The parties intend to invest together 500 million euros to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charging points close to highways as well as at logistic and destination points, within five years from the establishment of the JV. The number of charging points is with time intended to be increased significantly by seeking additional partners as well as public funding. The future JV is planned to operate under its own corporate identity and be based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The future JV will be able to build on the broad experience and knowledge of its founding partners in heavy-duty trucking.”
The companies are also hopeful this partnership will help enable and push the EU’s Green Deal policies on carbon-neutral freight transportation. “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.”
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.”
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 Volvo Group and the TRATON 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.”
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