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European OEMs kick start EV charging infrastructure joint venture

European OEMs kick start EV charging infrastructure joint venture
Martin Daum (left), Christian Levin (center) and Martin Lundstedt (right). Photo courtesy of TRATON GROUP

Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and the TRATON GROUP announced that they have completed the final step in forming their previously announced joint venture (JV) for EV charging infrastructure in Europe. 

The new joint venture, with Anja van Niersen as CEO, is expected to have a significant role in supporting the European Unionโ€™s Green Deal for carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050.

According to the EU automotive industry group ACEA, โ€œit is now vital that all the framework conditions for going fully electric are put in place โ€“ including the roll-out of a truly EU-wide network of charging and refuelling infrastructure and access to the necessary raw materials.โ€

The joint venture plans to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charge points on, and close to, highways as well as at logistics hubs across Europe. The parties are committing to invest EUR500 million (USD509 million) in total, which is assumed to be by far the largest charging infrastructure investment in the European heavy-duty truck industry to date.

The JV intends to take a catalyzing role as a charge point operator (CPO) in the value-chain by installing and managing charging stations for heavy-duty trucks and coaches. It will be a self-standing legal entity, operating under its own corporate identity and based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Van Niersen, who will be taking the helm of the new company, will bring with her a breadth of experience from the energy and charging industry sector, most recently serving as CEO and later as chairman of the Board of a major European electric vehicle charging network provider.

With a strong customer-driven approach focusing on transport operatorsโ€™ specific needs, the JV will provide reliable and accessible high-performance charging stations for all battery electric heavy-duty vehicle fleet operators.

The charging network initiated by the three parties will be open and accessible to all heavy commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand.

โ€œThis is a long-awaited and major step towards achieving the required charging infrastructure for the roll-out and success of battery-electric long-haul trucks and coaches. We are making what would be impossible for one actor alone to accomplishโ€”this strong partnership is a significant milestone and accelerator towards carbon neutral transport in Europe by 2050,โ€ said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO, Volvo Group.

โ€œWe are very excited to kick off this new joint venture together with our partners. It is crucial that we are now taking the initiative for building up the much-needed charging network. Still, we call on the entire industry to join in our effort. The number of charge points has to increase significantly as fast as possible to make electric long-haul trucking a viable solution for our customers,โ€ Martin Daum, CEO, Daimler Truck, said.

โ€œTo find the best solutions for the climate challenge is our most urgent priority as an industry and as the TRATON GROUP. When we talk to customers about electric trucks, they always ask: where can we charge? To support as fast as possible, we are teaming up and from today on kick-starting the European charging network. With Anja van Niersen this JV has a CEO with a great deal of experience in setting up charging networks. Anja and her team will support the important journey to enable further progress of sustainable transport,โ€ said Christian Levin, CEO, TRATON GROUP.