Europe’s first big auto industry event in two years is an attempt to reverse declines in attendance and adapt to new technology.
The United States has about 100,000 public chargers, far fewer than Europe and China. It needs 10 times as many, auto experts say, to complete the switch from combustion engine vehicles.
A push to increase sales of electric vehicles favors companies that already have all-electric cars on the market and could penalize those that don’t.
Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Volkswagon’s AG heavy-truck business the Traton Group announced on Monday a non-binding agreement to build a network of high-performance public charging stations for electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and buses around Europe. The news was first reported by Reuters.
The three major European automakers will invest €500 million (~$593 million USD) to install and operate 1,700 charging points in strategic locations and close to highways. They intend to finalize the agreement by the end of this year and start operations next year, with the hopes of increasing the number of charge points significantly as the companies seek additional partners for the future joint venture.
The venture is meant to be a catalyst to prepare for the European Union’s goals of carbon-neutral freight transportation by 2050. One of the main deterrents for both individuals and freight companies for switching to EVs has historically been a lack of charging infrastructure. By building that infrastructure, Volvo, Daimler and Traton can also expect to boost their own sales of electric trucks and buses.
“It is the joint aim of Europe’s truck manufacturers to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” Martin Daum, CEO Daimler Truck, said in a statement. “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.”
The partnership between Volvo and Daimler isn’t unprecedented. In May, the two competitors teamed up to produce hydrogen fuel cells for long-haul trucks to lower development costs and boost production volumes. This latest venture is another signal that major companies are banding together to solve climate-related issues in the industry.
European car industry association ACEA has called for up to 50,000 high-performance charging points by 2030. Traton CEO Matthias Gruendler told Reuters that roughly 10 billion euros would be needed to build out Europe’s infrastructure to be fully electrified by 2050.
According to a statement released by Volvo, this venture is also a call to action for others with a stake in the industry, like automakers or governments, to work together to ensure the rapid expansion needed to reach climate goals.
The charging stations will be brand-agnostic, and battery electric vehicle fleet operators will be able to use both the fast charging during the European 45 minute mandatory rest period for long-distance transport and also charge overnight.
The joint venture will operate under its own corporate identity out of Amsterdam. Volvo, Daimler and Traton will own equal shares in the venture but will continue to compete in all other areas.
Buying an electric car can be exciting and bewildering. Consider what kind of car you want and need and where you will charge.
Test-driving Volkswagen’s ID.4, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and Volvo’s XC40 Recharge: The green turf where Tesla has dominated for so long is poised to grow crowded.
The “hot hatch” concept — sporty but practical, with plenty of horsepower — is being swallowed by (what else?) S.U.V.s.
The settlement between LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation ensures that a battery plant in Georgia will go forward without hampering electric vehicle production.
The president is hoping to make electric vehicles more affordable to turn a niche product into one with mass appeal.
In the aftermath of a diesel scandal five years ago, executives made a commitment to electric vehicles that now is paying off.
The German carmaker outlined ambitious goals to build battery factories as it ties its fate to electric cars.
Even before G.M. announced it would work toward eliminating emissions from its vehicles, more automakers were putting E. V.s in their showrooms. Here’s a roundup.
Carmakers, government agencies and investors are pouring money into battery research in a global race to profit from emission-free electric cars.
Every carmaker is trying to figure out how to make the leap before governments force it and Tesla and other start-ups lure away drivers.
Traditional automakers have struggled to sell electric cars. That could change as Ford, Volkswagen and others introduce new models.
Carmakers can’t buy the semiconductors they need because home electronics are taking all the supply.
As Tesla completes a factory in Berlin, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are introducing electric cars in bids to defend their dominance of the luxury market.
A scandal led to a $2.9 billion trust fund for states to put cleaner vehicles on their roads. A lot of the money has gone to more diesel vehicles.
Rupert Stadler is accused of continuing to sell cars with illegal software even after Volkswagen’s cheating scandal came to light.
Battery prices are dropping faster than expected. Analysts are moving up projections of when an electric vehicle won’t need government incentives to be cheaper than a gasoline model.
The agreement is a small fraction of the sum that Volkswagen paid after admitting to emissions cheating in 2015.
Most traditional carmakers are struggling to produce and market electric vehicles even as Tesla sells hundreds of thousands of its luxury models.
The bustling R.V. business gets a jolt from a ritzy new Mercedes-Benz rig.
Judges on Monday cleared the way for counties to pursue the automaker, which has already paid more than $20 billion in federal penalties for cheating on pollution tests, under local laws.
The German car company withdrew an online ad that attracted criticism for its racist images.
The German carmaker will pay a relatively modest fine to resolve criminal cases involving the chairman and chief executive. They were accused of not warning shareholders about a looming scandal.
Some automakers plan to restart factories on Monday, but are likely to face a dearth of buyers.