Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and the Traton Group announced a partnership to install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery-electric, heavy-duty long-haul trucks, and coaches across Europe.
As revealed in a joint venture (JV) announced in July, all three companies are committed to initiating and accelerating the necessary build-up of charging infrastructure for the increasing number of customers of electric vehicles in Europe and contribute to climate-neutral transportation in Europe by 2050.
“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,” said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of Volvo Group. “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.”
The planned JV—to be equally owned by the three companies—is scheduled to start operations in 2022 following completion of all regulatory approval processes. Together, the companies will invest €500 million, or more than $566 million USD.
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 logistics 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 will act as catalyst and enabler for realizing 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 action of Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and the Traton Group 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-realize emission reductions. This initiative is a significant start and an accelerator to make CO2-neutral heavy trucks and coaches a success.
“[This signing] is great news for the transport industry and society, as it underlines all of the partners’ strong commitment to making CO2-neutral trucks a reality,” said Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck. “It is remarkable that three fierce competitors in the area of trucks and vehicle technology are taking action together to start establishing the needed charging infrastructure. Together with Volvo Group and the Traton Group, we want to send a clear signal to all relevant stakeholders to follow our lead and act now.”
The three companies 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.
“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,” said Christian Levin, CEO of Traton Group. “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.”
The future JV is planned to operate under its own corporate identity and will be based in Amsterdam.