VW’s Traton Group, Daimler Truck, and the Volvo Group have announced that they have completed the final step in forming the previously announced joint venture for charging infrastructure in Europe.

The new joint venture,  will be headed up by Anja van Niersen as CEO,  and is expected to have a significant role in supporting the European Union’s Green Deal for carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050.

The joint venture announced last year that it 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 $AUD742 million (€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 JV intends to take what it describes as a  a ‘catalysing role as a charge point operator (CPO) in the value-chain by installing and managing charging stations for heavy-duty trucks and coaches’. The JVwill be a self-standing legal entity, operating under its own corporate identity and based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The JV partners say that Anja van Niersen will bring with her a ‘breadth of experience from the energy and charging industry sector’. Most recently van Niersen served as CEO and later as chair of the board of a major European electric vehicle charging network provider.

The JV partners say that the organisation will have a ‘strong customer-driven approach focusing on transport operators’ specific needs,  and is tasked with providing ‘reliable and accessible high-performance charging stations for all battery electric heavy-duty vehicle fleet operators’.

The company says ‘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 as well as investing in renewable energy in order to reach Europe’s climate targets’.

As a clear signal to all stakeholders, the charging network initiated by the three partners, they say will be open and accessible to all heavy commercial vehicles in Europe, regardless of brand.

 “To find the best solutions for the climate challenge is our most urgent priority as an industry and as the Traton Group,” said Traton Group CEO, Christian Levin.

“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 to kick-start the European charging network,” Levin said.

“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.”

Meantime Martin Daum, the CEO  of Daimler Truck said they are excited to kick off the new joint venture together with the 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,” Daum said.

Volvo Group President and CEO, Martin Lundstedt,  said the the formal start of the JV 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,” said Lundstedt.

The JV team said it 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 says it will work collaboratively across industries to design and build charging solutions that match the needs of transport companies and drivers.

According to the company, more information including the reveal of the brand name will be available during 2022.