Traton Group, Daimler and Volvo Group are joining forces to create a European public charging network for battery-electric HGVs and long-distance coaches.

The three companies plan to launch a joint venture (JV) by 2022 which will roll out at least 1,700 high-capacity charging points powered by green electricity within five years of its launch.

The network’s charging points will be compatible with vehicles of all brands and will be located close to highways as well as at logistic and destination points. It will offer fast charging, tailored to the 45-minute mandatory driver rest period, as well as overnight charging.

The JV also plans to expand the network “significantly” by bringing on additional partners and gaining public funding.

Announcing the move, the three companies said the aim is to boost customer confidence and support the EU’s drive to climate-neutral transport. They added that the creation of the JV is a “call for action” to all other industry players, as well as governments and regulators, to work together to achieve a rapid expansion of a charging network.

The joint venture, which is subject to regulatory and other approvals, is expected to be launched by 2022.

Matthias Gründler, chief executive of the Traton Group said: “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.

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“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.”

Martin Daum, chief executive of Daimler Truck added: “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.

“Together with Volvo Group and the Traton Group, we are therefore very excited to take this pioneering step to establish a high-performance charging network across Europe.”

Martin Lundstedt, president and chief executive of 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.”

The JV highlighted the urgent need for a charging network, pointing to a recent industry report by ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, which called for up to 15,000 high-performance public and destination charging points no later than 2025, and up to 50,000 high-performance charging points no later than 2030 to meet EU carbon neutral targets.