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July 5, 2021

Three truck makers plan Europe CV charging network JV

Three truck makers are combining to set up a European commercial vehicle charging network.

By Graeme Roberts

Daimler Truck and the Traton and Volvo Groups 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 joint aim is to initiate and accelerate the build-up of charging infrastructure to enhance customer confidence and to support EU’s transformation to climate-neutral transportation.

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 a combined EUR500m 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 future JV will act as catalyst and enabler for realising the European Union’s Green Deal for a carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 – both by providing the necessary infrastructure and targeting for green energy at the charging points. The 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. High-performance charging infrastructure enabling long-haul trucking is a cost-efficient way towards significant, fast-to-realise emission reductions.

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.

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.

By focusing on customers’ needs, different applications will be taken into consideration. Battery electric vehicle fleet operators will be able to leverage both fast charging tailored to the 45-minute mandatory rest period in Europe focusing on long-distance transport – the highest priority of the future JV – and also charge overnight.

The three truck makers 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 and signing is expected by the end of 2021.

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