Major truck manufacturers are planning a European electric charging network

Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Volkswagen AG’s TRATON Group plan to spend $ 593 million to install and operate 1,700 commercial truck charging stations in Europe by 2027.

The establishment of charging infrastructure for heavy-duty long-distance battery electric trucks and coaches is the goal of the non-binding agreement announced Monday by the three largest European truck manufacturers.

“It is the common goal of European truck manufacturers to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. However, it is essential that building the right infrastructure goes hand in hand with bringing CO2 neutral trucks into service.” , Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck. said in a Press release.

“This will be the big bottleneck,” Daum told Reuters. The Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker plans to part ways with Daimler AG, which is also the parent company of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, by the end of the year.

No similar pact exists in the United States. Daimler Trucks North America opened an electric truck loading island in April near its Portland, Oregon headquarters. So far, this is the only public pricing system run by companies.

DTNA, Volvo Trucks North America and PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) the Peterbilt and Kenworth brands sell charging stations for private use. TRATON’s Navistar brand does not yet have an electric offer. The first, a mid-weight model, goes into production in 2022.

Signature of the JV expected by the end of 2021

The European agreement provides for the formation of a joint venture by the end of the year in which each of the three companies would have an equal stake. The project provides for efficient green energy charging stations near highways, as well as at logistics and destination points, within five years.

The future JV should operate under its own corporate identity and be based in Amsterdam. It will be a catalyst and a catalyst for the achievement of the European Union’s Green Deal for carbon neutral freight transport by 2050. The charging network will be accessible to all commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of the brand. . Outsiders are expected to expand the network once it is established.

“In order to accelerate further, we need additional partners, additional networks and public funds,” Lundstedt said.

Volvo was the first to produce electric trucks in Europe and is expanding its business to include battery-powered construction machinery. After three years of testing, Daimler started producing its heavyweight eActros last Wednesday. It is initially sold in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Follows Daimler-Volvo Fuel Cell Electric Truck JV

In a separate move, Daimler and Volvo earlier this year finalized a joint venture to manufacture and sell hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks and stationary powertrains under each brand. Volvo paid Daimler nearly $ 700 million for 50% of the joint venture called Cellcentric.

“We are laying the groundwork to make a breakthrough for our customers to switch to electrification,” said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group.

Volkswagen, which pledged to spend billions on electrical infrastructure globally in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal – the covert deactivation of pollution control devices in diesel vehicles – is banking on electrification.

“This requires the rapid development of publicly accessible charging points, especially for long-distance heavy goods vehicle transport,” said Matthias Gründler, CEO of the TRATON Group, adding that around $ 12 billion would be needed to build the Europe’s electricity infrastructure by 2050.

Europe needs up to 15,000 high-performance public and destination charging points by 2025 at the latest, and up to 50,000 high-performance charging points by 2030 at the latest, according to a May 2021 report by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers.

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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