Global truck manufacturers The Volvo Group, Daimler Truck AG, and TRATON announced today the launch of a new joint venture focused on the development of an electric battery-charging network for long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe. 

The partners will own equal shares in the new venture which is planned to start operations in 2022, and will invest €500 million for the installation of 1,700 high-performance EV charging points located at strategic points within five years. Over time, the number of charging points is expected to increase significantly, with the addition of new partners, as well as public funding.

According to the companies, the new joint venture will support the European Union’s Green Deal for carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050 as it addresses the growing need for EV charging networks in Europe. The new charging network will be accessible to all commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of the brand.

Martin Daum, CEO Daimler Truck, 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.”

The deal marks a continuation of Volvo and Daimler’s collaborations on low carbon trucking solutions. Earlier this year, the companies launched cellcentric, a joint venture aiming to become a leading global manufacturer of fuel-cell systems, and to accelerate the use of hydrogen-based fuel cells for long-haul trucks and other applications. At the time, the companies stated that purely battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks will complement each other depending on the individual customer use case, with battery power used for lower cargo weights and shorter distances, while fuel-cell power as the preferred option for heavier loads and longer distances. Volvo also announced last year the launch of a line of all-electric heavy- duty trucks, with sales expected to begin in 2022.

Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO Volvo Group, said:

“We are laying the necessary foundation in making a breakthrough 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.”

Matthias Gründler, CEO TRATON GROUP, added:

“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.”