Three major European commercial vehicle manufacturers – Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Volkswagen Group’s Traton Group (Scania and MAN brands) – have signed a binding agreement to create a joint venture charging network in Europe in 2022.
The joint venture – that reminds us of the Ionity network for electric cars – will install and operate “a high-performance public charging network for battery electric, heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches.”
As previously announced, the plan is to invest a total of €500 million ($562 million) – each founding partner will contribute equally (about €167 million) into the joint venture.
“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.”
Within five years of the establishment of the JV (so by the end of 2026 or so), the network is expected to consist of 1,700 charging points “on and close to highways as well as at logistic and destination points” (the number of stations is not disclosed). That’s about €300,000 per single charging point (most likely DC fast charger, but the power level was not yet announced).
According to the press release, the fast charging will be tailored to the 45-minute mandatory rest period (after 4.5 hours of driving) in Europe.
Just like in the case of Ionity, the new network will be open for new partners and additional investments to gradually expand the number of stations:
“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.”
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Europe requires up to 15,000 high-power public and destination charging points for heavy-duty vehicles by 2025, and up to 50,000 by 2030. It means that the new joint venture will cover only basic needs for long-distance travel.