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December 16, 2021

Three truck makers sign joint venture agreement for European high performance charging network

New charging network to encourage long distance, heavy duty electric trucking.

By Graeme Roberts

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

The JV creation is subject to regulatory approvals.

The planned JV, to be equally owned by the three parties, is scheduled to start operations in 2022 following completion of all regulatory approval processes. The parties are together committing to invest EUR500m.

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. 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 heavy duty trucking founding partners.

The future JV will act as catalyst and enabler for realising the European Union’s Green Deal for carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 both by providing the necessary infrastructure and targeting green energy at the charging points.

The joint venture 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. This initiative is seen as a significant start and an accelerator to make CO2 neutral heavy trucks and coaches a success.

The three partners see this as a breakthrough for the transport industry to cut carbon emissions and for other industries to benefit in several ways. A recent industry report is calling for up to 15,000 high-performance public and destination charging points by no later than 2025, and up to 50,000 high-performance charging points by no later than 2030.

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 and also overnight charging.

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