Three of the big four global truck manufacturers have come together to sign an agreement to develop a comprehensive electric charging system, initially in Europe, but one in North America is also on the cards.
Between them Daimler Truck, the Traton Group and Volvo Group represent a majority proportion of the trucks manufactured across the globe. These three have signed a non-binding agreement to install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe.
The group are planning to start operations in 2022, investing 500 million Euros ($790 million) 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 three players are also heavily involved in the US truck market, since Traton finalised its takeover of International Trucks earlier this month. Reports suggest a similar JV in North America will be announced relatively soon.
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
According to the three major players, this joint action 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.
“It is the joint aim of Europe’s truck manufacturers to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said Martin Daum, CEO Daimler Truck. “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.”
A recent industry report called 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. According to the joint venture partners, their kick-start 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.
“For the Traton Group, it is clear that the future of transport is electric,” said Matthias Gründler, CEO Traton Group. “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.”
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
“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, said Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO Volvo Group. “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.”