As electric trucks look set to grow in popularity, three giants in the truck making industry have come together in an alliance to address a key factor; charging. Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Traton Group have come into a non-binding agreement to build a network of public chargers for heavy-duty long-haul electric trucks and coaches.
A new independent entity will be formed to run the operations of the high-performance charging network. The stations are planned to be located close to highways all over Europe. The joint venture is targeting 1700 charging points within the first five years of operation.
The charging points will be powered by green energy. 500 million Euros will be contributed by the three companies to get the project of the ground. The joint venture will be based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
More charging points are planned with time and the joint venture intends to welcome more partners. They also welcome additional funding to cater for expansion. As it stands, Volvo, Daimler and Traton have equal shares in the joint venture, which is still awaiting regulatory approval.
The joint venture is coming about as the three companies attempt to ease the adoption of electric trucks by logistics companies by removing a serious roadblock: range anxiety. For long hauls with electric trucks to be feasible, drivers would need to have access to fast charging. The mandatory 45 minute breaks and overnight stations are what the joint venture is targeting.
Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of Volvo Group, said: “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.”
CEO of Traton Group, Matthias Gründler said: “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.”