Commercial Vehicle Charging Europe, a joint venture formed by the Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and Traton Group, announced it has begun operating under the brand name Milence. Rolling out Europe’s first large-scale public charging network for heavy-duty trucks and coaches, Milence will initially focus on charging locations in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
With about half a billion dollars in initial funding, Milence will begin its expansion to support the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles in Europe.
Long-haul battery-electric trucks, with ranges of more than 250 miles and capable of fully charging batteries during a driver’s mandatory 45-minute break, will enter the European market by 2024. A reliable public charging network, designed for the needs of transport operators and drivers, is essential to making the electric transition move as rapidly as possible, Milence officials said in a press release.
“That’s why there’s no time to waste, and we must start ahead of the market with the rollout of at least 1,700 charging points in the next five years,” said Milence CEO Anja van Niersen.
The 1,700 charging points will be distributed between the current CCS charging standard and the upcoming megawatt charging with the standard called MCS. While the current charging standard already enables some heavy-duty trucks to fully charge in under 90 minutes, the new megawatt charging system will make it possible to charge a 40-ton truck in 30-45 minutes.
Van Niersen considers battery-electric trucking "the most energy-efficient and sustainable option for road transport."
He said on-site batteries at charging stations will enable trucks to use stored green energy, decreasing peak energy demand. In this way Milence can reduce electrical grid congestion, balancing the demand, and offering a pragmatic solution for the current grid congestion in many countries.
To improve driver working conditions, Milence says it will ensure that charging sites are safe, secure, and offer facilities and services suited to drivers’ needs. These include clean sanitation facilities, food and beverage services, recreation facilities, and a high level of security.
Total Cost of Ownership
Within two to four years, Milence says battery-electric trucks will have a lower total cost of ownership than diesel trucks for a broad range of transports.
“In some cases the TCO for battery-electric trucks used for regional transport is already lower," said Van Niersen. "Within a few years this will also be the case for long-haul trucks in many countries in Europe."
He added: “With favorable EU regulations, lower costs of ownership, improved working conditions for truck drivers, and the rollout of a Europe-wide megawatt charging network, we expect battery-electric trucking to transform the road transport industry in the coming years."