Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Traton Group have officially signed a binding agreement to create a joint venture (JV) to install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery electric, heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe.
As previously communicated in July, the parties 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. The JV creation is subject to regulatory approvals.
The planned JV — to be equally owned by the three parties — is scheduled to start operations in 2022 following completion of all regulatory approval processes. The parties are together committing to invest €500 million, which is assumed to be by far the largest charging infrastructure investment in the European heavy-duty truck industry to date.
The trio adds 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 logistic 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 JV is planned to operate under its own corporate identity and be based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Lundstedt says, “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. 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.”
Adds Martin Daum, CEO at Daimler Truck, “Today’s signing announcement 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. 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.”
Finally, Traton CEO Christian Levin states, “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. 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.”