Daimler Volvo and Traton group unite for European charging network


Three-way infrastructure joint venture for heavy battery-EV fleets

Daimler Volvo and Traton group unite for European charging network
(L to R) The three CEOs: Martin Daum, Christian Levin, Martin Lundstedt

 

Daimler Truck, Traton Group and Volvo Group have now signed a binding agreement to create a joint venture to install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery electric, heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe

The truck-making trio said each was committed to initiating and accelerating the necessary build-up of charging infrastructure for the increasing number of customers of electric vehicles in Europe and tocontribute to climate-neutral transportation in Europe by 2050. 

Last month, Daimler announced partnerships with fuel compaines BP and Total to investigate building nearly 200 hydrogen refulling stations across Europe.

"Today’s signing announcement is great news for the transport industry and society, as it underlines all of the partners’ strong commitment to making CO2-neutral trucks a reality," Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum said. 

"It is remarkable that three fierce competitors in the area of trucks and vehicle technology are taking action together to start establishing the needed charging infrastructure.

"Together with Volvo Group and the Traton Group, we want to send a clear signal to all relevant stakeholders to follow our lead and act now."  

The planned JV — to be equally owned by the three parties — is scheduled to begin operations in 2022 following completion of all regulatory approval processes.

The parties have committed to invest €500 million (A$789 million), which is assumed to be by far the largest charging infrastructure investment in the European heavy-duty truck industry to date.

The plan is to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charging points on and close to highways as well as at logistic and destination points within five years of the establishment of the JV.

"We are going from words to action, and this planned joint venture with Daimler Truck and the Traton Group is an important step in shaping a world we want to live in," Volvo Group president and CEO Martin Lundstedt said.

"Innovative partnerships like these will enable the much-needed change that will benefit our customers — and the entire industry.

"This is both a historical milestone in the transformation towards fossil-free transport and a breakthrough that shows Volvo Group’s commitment to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and a net-zero emissions rolling fleet by 2050 at the latest."

The number of charging points is 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 aims to act as catalyst and enabler for realising the European Union’s Green Deal for carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 — by providing the necessary infrastructure and targeting green energy at the charging points.

The companies said the move addresses the urgent need for such a 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. This initiative is a significant start and an accelerator to make CO2-neutral heavy trucks and coaches a success.

"We have the strong opinion that we as the Traton Group together with our brands Scania and MAN as well as the commercial vehicle industry as a whole will be part of the solution when it comes to a CO2-neutral world," Traton Group CEO Christian Levin said.

"A collaboration with strong competitors like Daimler Truck and Volvo Group might seem unusual.

"However, the topic is of crucial importance and this unique cooperation will make us faster and more successful in delivering the transformational action needed to tackle climate change.

"Our joint venture will be a strong push for the rapid breakthrough of battery electric trucks and coaches, the most efficient and sustainable transport solutions."

 

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