The new joint venture, with Anja van Niersen as appointed CEO, is expected to have a significant role in supporting the European Union’s Green Deal for carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050.
As announced last year, the joint venture plans to install and operate at least 1,700 high-performance green energy charge points. These will be located on, and close to, highways as well as at logistics hubs across Europe.
The parties are committing to invest €500 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 joint venture intends to take a catalysing role as a charge point operator 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.
Anja 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 she served 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 operators’ specific needs, the new venture will provide reliable and accessible high-performance charging stations for all battery electric heavy-duty vehicle fleet operators.
Christian Levin, TRATON GROUP CEO, said: “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 kick-starting the European charging network.
“With Anja van Niersen this joint venture 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.”
This kick-start is a call to action to all other industry players, as well as governments and policymakers, to work together for a rapid expansion of the necessary charging network. It will also as act as an investment in renewable energy in order to reach Europe’s climate targets.
Martin Daum, Daimler Truck CEO, said: “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.”
As a clear signal to all stakeholders, the charging network initiated by the three parties will be open and accessible to all heavy commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand. This will be key in helping logistics companies make the transition to electric trucks for a cleaner future.
Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group CEO and president, said: “This 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 accomplish – this strong partnership is a significant milestone and accelerator towards carbon neutral-transport in Europe by 2050.”
The joint venture team will work quickly to scale up operations and network deployment to provide reliable and convenient public charging for heavy-duty vehicles. As the demand for battery electric trucks and coaches is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, the team will work collaboratively across industries to design and build charging solutions that match the needs of transport companies and drivers.