Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Traton Group plan to develop a public charging network for battery-electric heavy-duty trucks in Europe.
The three leading commercial vehicle manufacturers signed an agreement to install and operate at least 1,700 high-capacity charging points near highways and logistic points within five years. The infrastructure will be compatible with vehicles of all brands.
The parties intend to invest together about $591 million into the development, which will support the European Union’s Green Deal for a carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050.
The agreement lays the foundation of a future joint venture planning to start operations in 2022, Traton officials said in a press release. German-based Traton Group (formerly known as Volkswagen Truck & Bus) completed its merger with Navistar on July 1.
The JV will operate under its own corporate identity and be based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Traton Group, Daimler Truck and Volvo Group 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. The signing of a JV Agreement can be expected by the end of 2021.
The number of charging points is intended to be increased significantly by seeking additional partners as well as public funding, company officials said.
“For the Traton Group, it is clear that the future of transport is electric,” said Traton CEO Matthias Gründler. “This requires the rapid development of publicly accessible charging points, especially for long-distance heavy-duty transport.”
Gründler added: “We now make the first step to accelerate the transition towards sustainable, fossil free transport. The second step should be a strong engagement of the EU for the full scale-up of a charging network across Europe.”
Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group said: “We are laying the necessary foundation in making a break-through for our customers to make the transformation to electrification by creating a European charging network leader. We have powerful electromobility technologies, and now, with Daimler Truck, the Traton Group and thanks to the European Green Deal, also an industry-wide understanding as well as a political environment to make fundamental progress towards sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions.”