Volvo, Daimler, Traton in €500m truck-charging JV

Three major European truck manufacturers — Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and the Traton Group — have signed a non-binding €500 million agreement to install and operate a public charging network for battery electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe.

Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and the Traton Group will own equal shares in the planned joint venture (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 is expected by the end of 2021.

“The agreement lays the foundation of a future joint venture (JV) — equally owned by the three parties, planning to start operations in 2022,” said Volvo.

“The parties intend to invest together €500 million to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charging points close to highways as well as at logistic and destination points, within five years from 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 is planned to operate under its own corporate identity and be based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“The future JV will be able to build on the broad experience and knowledge of its founding partners in heavy-duty trucking.

“The future JV will act as catalyst and enabler for realizing the European Union’s Green Deal for a carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 – both by providing the necessary infrastructure and targeting for 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.”

Volvo Group CEO Martin Lundstedt 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.”

Daimler Truck CEO Martin Daum said: “It is the joint aim of Europe’s truck manufacturers to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

“However, it is vital that building up the right infrastructure goes hand in hand with putting CO2-neutral trucks on the road.

“Together with Volvo Group and the Traton Group, we are therefore very excited to take this pioneering step to establish a high-performance charging network across Europe.”

Traton Group CEO Matthias Gründler said: “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.

“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.”