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Daimler, Volvo & Traton Plan a $600 Million EV Charging Joint Venture for Commercial Trucks in Europe

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【Summary】Major commercial truck manufacturers Daimler, Volvo, and Volkswagen truck unit Traton have announced plans for a EV charging joint venture to support the rollout of battery powered trucks throughout Europe. The charging network of the three parties will be open and accessible to all commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand.

Eric Walz    Jul 05, 2021 7:45 AM PT
Daimler, Volvo & Traton Plan a $600 Million EV Charging Joint Venture for Commercial Trucks in Europe

The push to rollout electric trucks in Europe to help the European Union reach its climate goals has taken a big step forward. Major commercial truck manufacturers Daimler, Volvo, and Volkswagen's truck unit Traton Group have announced plans for a EV charging joint venture to support the rollout of battery powered trucks throughout Europe.

The charging joint venture will be based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. and will operate under its own corporate identity. It brings together the experience and knowledge of three of Europe's biggest heavy-duty truck companies and is set to start operations in 2022. 

The charging network of the three parties will be open and accessible to all commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand.

Truck makers Daimler, Volvo and Traton are investing together $500 million Euros (US$593 million) to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charging stations strategically located near highways, logistics centers and destination points, within five years from the establishment of the joint venture company. 

The three partners intend to significantly increase the number of chargers by seeking additional partners in the joint venture, as well as from public funding to further support the project. 

The joint venture will help meet the European Union's Green Deal for a carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 by providing the necessary charging stations powered by green energy.

Most of the EV charging operators in Europe and the U.S. have focused on building EV charging sites for passenger vehicles with the eventual phase out of internal combustion engine powered cars. Volvo Cars, for example, plans to only sell electric vehicles by 2030 and all of these EV drivers will need a convenient place to charge.

The joint venture of the three major truck manufacturers will address the immediate need for a high-performance charging network to support the specific needs of truck operators, especially in heavy-duty long-distance trucking using Class-8 trucks.

"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," said Matthias Gründler, CEO Traton Group.

A report in May by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, which includes all major truck manufacturers in Europe, is calling for up to 15,000 high-performance public and destination charging points to be installed throughout the EU no later than 2025. By the end of the decade, the charging network should include up to 50,000 high-performance charging points to support zero emissions freight delivery. 

Daimler Trucks said these aggressive goals are a call for action to all other industry players, as well as governments and regulators, to work together for a rapid expansion of the necessary charging network to be able to contribute to reaching the climate targets. 

The charging network will be purposefully designed to meet the requirements for freight delivery in the EU. For example, electric vehicle fleet operators will be able to leverage both fast charging tailored to the 45-minute mandatory rest period in Europe. The network will also support overnight charging.

Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and the Traton Group will each own an equal stake in the planned JV. However, the three companies will continue to be competitors in all other areas. 

The creation of the EV charging network is subject to regulatory and other approvals. The signing of the JV agreement is expected to be done by the end of 2021.


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