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Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and the Traton Group are set to collaborate on building and operating a Europe-wide charging network for battery electric heavy-duty and long-haul trucks.
The three companies will set up a joint venture, investing €500 million to create “by far” the largest charging infrastructure investment for big trucks to date.
With plans to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green charging points close to highways, logistics, and destination points, the joint venture could be a boon for the trucking industry’s decarbonisation efforts.
The companies are hoping that the charging points will be up and running within five years and, should additional partners join the project or public funding be allocated, the number of charging points could still increase.
The joint venture will be independent of the three companies and is set to be headquartered in Amsterdam.
“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. 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,” says Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO Volvo Group.
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 overnight charging.
“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,” Christian Levin, CEO of Traton Group, a subsidiary of the sprawling VW empire.
“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.”
While the three companies usually exist in direct competition to each other, the charging network joint venture will naturally benefit each business as customers switch to electric trucks.